3 house fires in northern Alberta hamlet deemed arsons, RCMP called in to investigate

A recent string of house fires in the northern Alberta hamlet of Calling Lake were deliberately set, according to RCMP who are now investigating the blazes.
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Teachers, parents and opposition want answers about Quebec’s back to school plan
Teachers, parents and the opposition are calling on Quebec's education minister to present an updated back-to-school plan.
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Alleged AK-47 shooter refused to wear a mask in cigar store, police say
The suspect allegedly fired at a shop employee who told him to wear a mask in Bethlehem Township, Pa., then got into a shootout with police the next day.
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Digby man charged with 7 sexual offences over 25-year period
Police say three survivors have been identified to date, but police say investigators believe there may be additional victims.
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Guelph school board taking applications for police presence in schools task force
The 13-member panel is being formed in response to concerns about police targeting black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC). 
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Video released showing person of interest after woman found critically injured in Whitby
"Investigators want to talk to any of these drivers who may have dash-cam video that may have recorded the person of interest in the area at the time."
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It's Meghan Markle's Birthday! Here's Her Big Year In Pictures
Meghan Markle has had a big year.As the Duchess of Sussex celebrates her 39th birthday on Tuesday, she has a lot to look back on: she traveled to South Africa, spend time in B.C. and L.A., guest-edited British Vogue’s prestigious September issue, launched a charitable clothing line and sued British tabloids.Oh yeah, and she made history by stepping away from the Royal Family.She still received birthday wishes via Instagram from the Queen and from Prince William and Kate Middleton’s account. View this post on InstagramA post shared by The Royal Family (@theroyalfamily) on Aug 4, 2020 at 12:34am PDT View this post on InstagramA post shared by Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@kensingtonroyal) on Aug 4, 2020 at 12:58am PDTAnd a group of her devoted fans, the “Sussex Squad,” have launched a scholarship in Meghan’s name with the Campaign for Female Education,  a group that works to eradicate poverty by educating women across Africa.Given the privacy Meghan has sought, we likely won’t have an update on what cake she picked up to celebrate her 39th birthday, or a sweet message from Prince Harry like we did last year. But we can look back at some of her best moments from her 38th year.July 2019: Meghan guest-edits British Vogue Okay, so maybe this is cheating: she guest-edited British Vogue's September issue, which came out in August and was announced in late July, which was obviously before her Aug. 4 birthday. But her work generated discussion far beyond its initial publication, made record-breaking sales, and won an award for its commitment to diversity. It counts! Handout via Getty ImagesSeptember 2019: Meghan visited New York to watch Serena Williams at the US Open Tennis Tournament Remember when overseas travel was possible?! What a time. In early fall, Meghan took quick trip from the U.K. to New York, to watch her friend Serena Williams compete in the US Open. (Williams lost to Canadian Bianca Andreescu.) Tim Clayton - Corbis via Getty ImagesSeptember 2019: Meghan launches a charity clothing line As soon as she returned from maternity leave a few months after the birth of her son Archie, she launched into a new project: designing a capsule collection to benefit Smart Works, a UK organization that provides clothing and job coaching to women who are unemployed. WPA Pool via Getty ImagesSeptember 2019: Meghan and Prince Harry leave for their royal tour in southern Africa At the end of September, Meghan and Harry took on what we didn't realize at the time would be their last tour as senior members of the Royal Family. They brought baby Archie with them when they arrived in Cape Town. Then Harry went on to Botswana, Angola and Malawi, meeting back up with his wife and son in Johannesburg in early October. Gallo Images via Getty ImagesSeptember 2019: Meghan visits the NGO Justice Desk in Nyanga, Cape Town, South Africa Many of Meghan's events during her time in South Africa focused on women's rights: she attended a memorial for murdered student Uyinene Mrwetyana and met with anti-apartheid and feminist activist Sophia Williams-De Bruyn. In this photo, she met with the NGO Justice Desk, where she gave a speech expressing solidarity with South African women. “On one personal note, may I just say that while I am here with my husband, as a member of the Royal Family, I want you to know that for me, I am here with you as a mother, as a wife, as a woman, as a woman of colour and as your sister,” she said. BETRAM MALGAS via Getty ImagesSeptember 2019: Harry, Meghan and Archie meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu Arch meets Arch! Meghan, Harry and baby Archie met with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his wife Leah at the Tutu Legacy Foundation in Cape Town. It's not every day your infant son meets a legendary human rights activist! Pool/Samir Hussein via Getty ImagesOctober 2019: She admits she's been struggling In a clip from an ITV interview that feels especially poignant given what we know now, Meghan Markle told a reporter that she found media scrutiny during her pregnancy and right after to be very difficult. ITVDecember 2019: Meghan and Harry skip Christmas with the Royal Family In a surprising move, Harry and Meghan opted to skip the traditional Christmas celebrations with the whole Royal Family, and instead spent the holiday in B.C. Sussex Royal / InstagramJanuary 2020: Meghan and Harry quit In a shocking move, the Sussexes started the year off by announcing their plans to step down from their roles as senior royals. The move was “very unprecedented,” Toronto-based royal expert Patricia Treble told HuffPost Canada. “This has simply never happened before.” Chris Jackson via Getty ImagesMarch 2020: Harry and Meghan return to London for their last royal engagement There was a lot of interest as the Sussexes returned to the U.K. from Canada in early March to attend their last round of royal engagements. DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS via Getty ImagesMarch 2020: Harry and Meghan attend their very last event The couple's last-ever appearance as senior royals was on March 31, at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in London. Chris Jackson via Getty ImagesMarch 2020: Meghan and Harry move to Los Angeles The couple left Canada in late spring to return to Meghan's hometown of L.A., where her mother, Doria Ragland, lives. HuffPost / GettyApril 2020: Meghan's first post-royal project comes out "Elephant," the Disney movie Meghan narrated and her very first project since leaving the Royal Family came out on Disney+ this spring. DisneyJuly 2020: Meghan gives her first official post-royal speech We don't have a ton of details about what Harry and Meghan have been up to since their move to L.A., aside from sometimes delivering meals to help with pandemic efforts. But a few weeks ago, Meghan gave her very first official speech in her post-royal era, where she talked about the importance of challenging powerful institutions."I say to you: Keep challenging. Keep pushing. Make them a little uncomfortable, because it’s only in that discomfort that we actually create the conditions to reimagine our standards, our policies, our leadership," she said. Girl UpRELATED Prince William Says Homeschooling His Kids Is Testing His Patience Harry and Meghan’s Hollywood Home Is Being Stalked By Drones B.C. Hospital Workers Get Royal Thank You On Canada Day 'Better Days Will Return,' Queen Elizabeth Says In Rare Public Message
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NSGEU report lists factors union says contributed to Northwood COVID-19 outbreak
The union raises numerous concerns over how it says the government failed to prepare for and respond to a COVID-19 outbreak in long-term care.
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Ottawa man, 19, charged after 15-year-old seriously injured in Merivale hit and run
Ottawa police say a 19-year-old man has been charged after a hit-and-run near a Canadian Tire in the city's south end on Friday.
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Parasitic fungus creates zombie cicadas and uses them as agents of infection, study finds
Scientists have known about the fungus for about 100 years, according to the University of Connecticut, but the behavioural insights are much newer.
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Researchers hope manufactured antibodies could help treat COVID-19
Manufactured antibodies, which are used to treat some forms of cancer, could also be used for COVID-19, researchers say.
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Two security breaches affects health information of 211 people in Nova Scotia
The health authority says it is in the process of contacting all of the individuals by letter after their information was “inappropriately accessed” in two separate and unrelated incidents.
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Feds rake in $19.5M by selling 575 vehicles originally purchased for $23M
OTTAWA – There were no big tent events, employee pricing offers or inflatable flailing tube men, but the government managed to sell 575 cars in 2018 and 2019, after buying them for just a few days as part of the 2018 G7 summit. The sale of 575 vehicles brought the government $19.5 million after it initially spent $23 million to have the vehicles for the two-day summit. The government purchased 631 brand new vehicles for the summit in Charlevoix, Que., and when the red carpets had been rolled up they kept just a few dozen. The remaining 575 vehicles were put up for sale on the government’s online auction site and sold to customers in the Quebec City, Montreal and Ottawa areas. The total cost of the two-day event was $600 million and is best remembered for ending with a Twitter tirade from U.S. president Donald Trump directed at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our @G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, “US Tariffs were kind of insulting” and he “will not be pushed around.” Very dishonest & weak. Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2018 For what they then described as motorcade purposes the government bought 154 Chevrolet Suburbans, but through 2018 and 2019 they sold nearly all of them. The most recent model year of that large SUV runs roughly $65,000 to nearly $90,000 for the fully loaded models. The government provided the raw sales data on the 575 vehicles the government sold through an order paper question in the House of Commons. The National Post crunched the numbers and found 141 of the Suburbans were sold for an average of $56,279. After buying 140 Chrysler 300 models, the government sold 134 of the vehicles for an average price of $26,719. The starting price for the 2020 version of that vehicle is over $40,000. The government also sold 27 of the 28 Dodge Chargers purchased for the event at an average price of $29,194 and 97 Toyota Sienna models went out the door for an average of $34,227. The government also dumped most of the Ford Escapes it purchased for an average price of $22,343. It unloaded 41 Mitsubishi Outlanders, all of them for the same price of $22,000. The Nissan Rogues the government purchased for the summit went out the door for an average price of $19,301 and five Ford Explorers were sold for an average price of $32,018. In total, the government received $19,481,801.71 for all the vehicles it sold. The RCMP, who initially purchased the vehicles, said they could not provide a total cost for the original purchase, but shortly after the summit, the government pegged the cost at $23 million. 'Meek and mild': Trump’s anti-Trudeau tweets send the G7 into chaos Federal government spent millions on 631 new cars for G7 summit. Now, it's trying to sell most of them Stéfanie Hamel, a spokesperson for Public Services and Procurement Canada, said all of the vehicles were sold through the government’s surplus website and there were no commissions or extra costs for selling the fleet. “All personnel who worked on the G7 vehicle sales through GCSurplus were government of Canada employees,” she said in an email. “There were no costs related to commissions or other payments for the sales of the vehicles.” Many of the vehicles were virtually brand new and had just a few dozen kilometres on them when the government put them up for sale. Conservative MP Kelly McCauley said buying a huge fleet of new vehicles for a two-day summit is a terrible waste of taxpayer dollars. “This is just part of this systemic issue that we’ve got with this current government where there’s just zero lack of oversight, attempts to block transparency on it and a lack of caring for the taxpayer,” he said. McCauley said some of the motorcade vehicles might have had to be specially outfitted, but he has trouble believing the mini vans and small SUVs needed modifications to ferry delegations to and from the airport. ‘No oversight and no consideration’ He said he doesn’t understand why the government didn’t consider renting the vehicles. “Having worked in the car rental industry, I think it would have been a lot better for taxpayers if they just rented the cars. And 600 is not a large amount of cars to find for a two-day program,” he said. “It’s just no oversight and no consideration for taxpayers’ money.” RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Caroline Duval said buying the new vehicles was the right choice for this event, but doing so again would depend on the details of the event. “This approach was a success for the government specific to the 2018 G7 Summit. As for the future, an analysis would be conducted considering the factors specific to the summit, therefore, we are unable to predict if the same process would be used.” In addition to full delegations from the other six G7 countries, there were representatives from several other nations and international organizations at the event. With files from Marie-Danielle Smith. Twitter: RyanTumilty Email: rtumilty@postmedia.com
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Vancouver physician perched in trees to fight Trans Mountain pipeline expansion
A Vancouver physician is camping out in several trees to fight the Trans Mountain expansion project.
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P.E.I. to see how COVID-19 app fares in Ontario before final decision on use
Dr. Heather Morrison says the app's use by the Ontario health system provides an opportunity for other provinces to evaluate it before adopting it.
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51 firefighters battling Dry Lake blaze near Princeton
The fire was discovered on Sunday, and is located around 24 km northwest of Princeton and 13 km northeast of Tulameen.
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Kelowna senior among 3 injured in Friday collision between Handy Dart, U-Haul
The 34-year-old woman who was driving the van and the 42-year-old bus driver received minor injuries, said RCMP.
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TikTok sale puts Canada between Trump and China again, experts say
Experts say Canada is once again being pressured to take sides in a debate about digital technology that seems driven more by politics than by policy.
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Canada’s coronavirus restrictions could last years even with vaccine: top doctors
Top doctor's comments come as polling suggests many Canadians fear unproven side effects.
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Three men stranded on a remote Pacific island wrote a huge SOS in the sand, and it worked
Australian and U.S. military aircraft have rescued three sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island, after spotting their giant SOS sign drawn into the sand on the beach. On Sunday, a helicopter from Canberra spotted the sign on Pikelot Island, next to a makeshift shelter where the sailors had been stranded for three days. Rescuers, after landing on the tiny island to check the men’s wellbeing and give them supplies, said that they were in ‘good condition’ with no major injuries. Pikelot, a low coral islet less than a half kilometre long, is uninhabited and heavily forested, and home to a seabird rookery and a turtle nesting site. The three men, from Micronesia — a group of more than 600 small islands in the Pacific Ocean — were supposed to complete a 42-kilometre trip between the Poluwat and Pulap atolls (coral reefs) but went missing after their skiff ran out of fuel and went off course. Eventually they landed on Pikelot Island, nearly 200 kilometres west of their intended route. Authorities in the U.S. territory of Guam had raised the alarm for the missing men on Saturday. “I am proud of the response and professionalism of all on board as we fulfill our obligation to contribute to the safety of life at sea wherever we are,” the Australian Navy’s Capt. Terry Morrison said in a defence department statement. A Micronesian patrol vessel is sailing to the island to pick up the men, the statement added.
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Coronavirus misinformation is spreading — what is Canada doing about it?
Both online and offline, experts say misinformation is spreading rapidly. But the burning question — 'How do you combat it?' — is still burning.
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B.C. adds $10.5 million for overdose prevention sites, outreach teams
The funding will be used to open 17 new supervised consumption services and 12 new inhalation services.
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Three-month-old baby is Winnipeg’s 25th homicide victim of 2020
Winnipeg police said they were called to an incident involving a severely injured baby on July 28. The infant was taken to hospital in critical condition and later pronounced dead.
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What to do when politics has gone mad? Climb aboard Clifford Jackman’s literary pirate ship for some pro tips
In the Canadian writer’s new book “The Braver Thing,” the ship Saoirse becomes a self-contained world to examine absolute power
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What will sex, dating, and marriage look like on the other side of the pandemic?
Experts say lasting impacts of the pandemic could include dramatic shifts in what American households look like and in how they function day to day.
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The Raptors must re-sign Fred VanVleet. The cost of losing him is too high
The versatile guard — above-average defender, three-point threat and one of the smartest players on the court in any game he plays — will not cheat himself financially in free agency after this season. The Raptors are going to have to back up the money truck to his front door. But keep him they must.
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Cyclist in hospital after being hit by wood hanging from truck on Sea to Sky Highway
A cyclist says he is now recovering in hospital from multiple injuries after being struck on the Sea to Sky Highway Sunday.
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Second accused appears in Saskatoon court in Hailey Belanger-Weeseekase homicide
Rene Merasty, 21, is accused of second-degree murder after Hailey Belanger-Weeseekase was found dead on July 11 at a Diefenbaker Drive apartment complex.
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How to practice healthy relationship skills during the pandemic
The sudden life changes brought on by the pandemic can affect any healthy relationship, experts say, but there are ways to productively navigate conflicts and problems.
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Morden hockey team to change controversial name after community consultation
The Morden Redskins of the South Eastern Manitoba Hockey League said Monday they will update their name and branding.
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New coronavirus outbreak declared at Kitchener long-term care home
A new outbreak has been declared by Waterloo Public Health at the A.R. Goudie long-term care home in Kitchener after a resident tested positive for the coronavirus.
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Lawsuit Claims $600M In Damages Against Ontario Long-Term Care Homes
Innis Ingram says that at one point during the COVID-19 pandemic, his mother, a resident of a Mississauga, Ont., long-term care home, wasn’t bathed for six weeks. His 78-year-old mom, Kathryn Robertson, lives at Camilla Care Community long-term care home.Her meals and medication were often delivered late. Her diet’s quality was also a concern, Ingram said. One day, Kathryn’s lunch was a cold, uncooked hot dog. Ingram is one of the plaintiffs in a recently launched proposed $600 million class action lawsuit against almost 100 Ontario long-term care homes, which alleges they were negligent in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ingram made headlines after he chained himself to a tree outside Camilla Care in the spring. He was demanding to speak to an inspector and someone from the management team at Trillium Health Partners, which assumed temporary management of Camilla Care at the end of May.The home has seen 68 resident deaths during the pandemic. Kathryn didn’t contract COVID-19, but is high-risk because she has pulmonary fibrosis. “Somehow she managed to avoid it, but the quality of care that she’s received through the pandemic has just been atrocious,” Ingram told HuffPost Canada.A spokesperson for Sienna Senior Living, which owns Camilla Care, declined to comment when asked about Ingram’s allegations. Ingram said he feels an obligation to represent the hundreds of families who have reached out to him over the course of the pandemic. He said he’s heard shared concerns about loved ones in long-term care experiencing weight loss, having bed sores for weeks and homes being short-staffed. ‘Appalling’ events during pandemic: lawyer“We’re seeing right across the board, across all 96 homes [in the lawsuit], virtually repeated stories and descriptions of extreme overcrowding [and] homes that were under-resourced where you had lack of staff,” Joel Rochon, co-lead counsel on the class action and managing partner at Rochon Genova LLP, told HuffPost. The proposed class action has nine representative plaintiffs. Rochon also said the firm has received hundreds of calls about the lawsuit, so the number of plaintiffs could grow. As of Tuesday, 1,845 residents and eight staff members have died from COVID-19 in Ontario, according to the province’s data. “It was truly appalling what went on during COVID and to hear about the deplorable conditions in these homes,” Rochon said. “But it’s also important to remember that these conditions have existed in these homes for years.” WATCH: Ontario launches commission into COVID-19′s effects on long-term care homes. Story continues below. The lawsuit names Sienna Senior Living Inc. and the City of Toronto as representative defendants, representing the owners and operators of the 96 long-term care homes listed. The government of Ontario will be added as a defendant soon, according to Rochon. “We are aware of the proposed class action. We intend to respond in due course through the appropriate court processes,” a spokesperson for Sienna Senior Living told HuffPost by email. A spokesperson for the City of Toronto said they can’t comment at this time.A spokesperson for the Ontario Ministry of Long-Term Care said the ministry cannot comment as the matter is subject to litigation. Lawsuit alleges negligence, Charter breach A report from the Canadian Armed Forces, who were deployed to several Ontario long-term care homes during the pandemic, found insect infestations at some homes, staff not following infection control practices and not properly isolating COVID-19 positive residents, and patients with fungal infections and pressure wounds. The five homes named in the report are all included in the lawsuit. The statement of claim argues the Ontario government and the province’s long-term care homes “failed to act promptly” given early red flags about the harmful nature of the virus and that the elderly would be at especially high risk of experiencing complications or dying from it, based on the experiences of other countries like China and Italy.READ MORE: 'No Stone Will Be Left Unturned' In Ontario Care Home Report: Ford Sweltering Long-Term Care Homes Add To Months Of Heartbreak For Families Ford Says Province Is 'Coming After' Care Homes That Don't Give Staff PPE The class action claims $500 million in general damages and $100 million in punitive damages, and that:The long-term care operators were negligent in exposing resident class members “to an unreasonable risk of contracting COVID-19”;The defendants breached their fiduciary duties;The defendants violated resident class members’ rights to life and security of the person under section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms by “their adoption of delayed, arbitrary, ad hoc, and grossly inadequate measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”Over the course of the pandemic several other lawsuits have been filed against Ontario long-term care homes and their owners. Rochon said this class action might be one of the only ones, if not the only one, that is an action both against long-term care facilities and the provincial government. This really does provide a pathway to that justice that my family seeks ...Innis Ingram“Rather than kind of cherry picking individual homes or groups of homes where there were very serious outbreaks, we took an approach that would be more comprehensive and provide access to justice to more individuals who suffered tremendous losses,” he said.Rochon said he hopes to move through the process quickly. “These families have been through a lot,” he said. “The last thing they need is to have a long, extensive court battle.”Ingram said he doesn’t think actions like Ontario’s commission into long-term care — due out by April 2021 – will provide the immediate changes families are hoping to see.The lawsuit “really provides an opportunity to get justice province-wide,” he said. “It impacts thousands of Ontarians. This really does provide a pathway to that justice that my family seeks … and that pretty much all the other families I’ve spoken to are really seeking.”READ MORE: 2/3 Of Canadians Want Government To Take Over Long-Term Care: Poll COVID-19 Has Killed 164 At Revera's Care Homes. Their Families Want Answers. For-Profit Nursing Homes Hire Tory Insiders To Lobby Ford Government
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Hextall on Hockey: Don’t count out Jets’ role players
The Winnipeg Jets evened their series with the Calgary Flames with a seminal win for the franchise. Hextall on Hockey explains.
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No new coronavirus cases in London-Middlesex as Elgin-Oxford reports 12-case increase
There are currently at least 31 known active cases of COVID-19 in London and Middlesex.
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4 families displaced after fire rips through north-end Halifax townhouse
Barrington Street between Duffus and Richmond streets was closed for much of Tuesday as crews inspected the building for hot spots and investigated the fire’s cause.
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Tom Mulcair: In Dominique Anglade, Liberals have an inspiring leader
Brilliant and engaging, Quebec Liberals' new leader combines a business background with experience on social justice issues.
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Are you drinking more during COVID-19? Here’s some advice on how to cut down
For people who usually drink moderately, but have noticed an uptick in how much they’re consuming, cutting out alcohol for a month may be helpful.
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Ex-NHLer Brent Sopel shares dark moments confronting dyslexia
Growing up in Saskatchewan, Brent Sopel didn't know what was wrong with him.
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Edmonton’s 1st electric bus hits city streets
The city says the new bus fleet is greener, quieter and more cost effective.
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