Look out Edmonton, there’s a new farmers’ market in town – Edmonton

Watch above: A brand new farmer’s market has opened its doors in the heart of the city. Mother’s Market celebrates its grand opening Sunday. Tom sits down with Robert Holm and Phil Filipchuk to learn more about the new market.

EDMONTON – As more and more Edmontonians make the move to support locally produced food, a new farmers’ market has opened its doors in the city’s downtown.

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Mother’s Market celebrated its grand opening Sunday. Edmonton’s newest indoor market, located in the heart of the city, is open three days a week, 52 weeks a year.

“We’re different than other farmers’ markets,” said Mother’s Market CEO Robert Holm. “We stay open late on Friday so you can pick up groceries before heading home. Also, it’s a great lunch spot. Come in, eat, have a coffee and take a seat on our patio.”

The two-storey, 20,000-square foot market offers everything from fresh eggs, fish and vegetables to baked good and gelato. Upstairs, there are five hot food vendors offering Indian, Mexican, Aboriginal and Polish cuisine.

“What we’re trying to establish is a community feel,” said Holm’s business partner, Phil Filipchuk. “Bring the family down, enjoy the afternoon, just shop around. It’s a relaxed space, we have a jukebox, we have all kinds of fun stuff in there. Plus, we have great food, very healthy items.”

“I think people are really waking up to the foods and health and what we need to be eating and going back to more old school,” added Holm. “When I was young everybody had a garden and a cold room and now nobody is doing that. But the young people are really starting to take that on.”

READ MORE: To market, to market, Edmontonians go

Plans for the market began in November. There are already four markets like this in Calgary, so Holm and Filipchuk thought it was about time to bring one to Edmonton.

“The energy in this place is incredible,” said Holm. “People should go to all the markets in town. However, if you live in the area, come check us out too. We’re trying to get something going here, an answer to Vancouver’s Granville Market right here in Edmonton.”

The market is located in the old Mother’s Music building at 10251-109 Street. It is open Fridays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit the market’s website.

Follow @CaleyRamsay

Canada wins silver at women’s rugby World Cup – National

WATCH: Canada’s women’s rugby team made it to the world finals in Paris this weekend. And as Francis Silvaggio reports, the ladies are setting a fantastic example for girls everywhere.

PARIS – You could almost hear the sigh of relief from her English teammates as Emily Scarratt broke through one tackle, evaded another and touched down in the corner of Canada’s end zone.

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After having to fight for every inch against a resilient Canadian team, England needed a stellar solo effort from its star centre to cement a 21-9 win over Canada in the women’s rugby World Cup final.

Scarratt scored 16 points on Sunday, including 10 straight to close the gold-medal game, as England won its second World Cup and its first in 20 years.

After England dominated in the first half, Canada closed to within two points on a Magali Harvey penalty halfway through the second. But Scarratt kicked a penalty of her own a minute later, then capped the scoring with a try six minutes from the end of regulation.

“We had a couple of opportunities to score tries that could have made a difference, but because we didn’t then they were full of confidence and more physical and fresher than us,” Canada coach Francois Ratier said.

“When you have two opportunities and you don’t score, then it’s almost impossible. It’s not a question of passion or heart. It’s just a question of in the final of any sport, if you don’t score when you have the opportunities, then the other team will take them.”

Scarratt received the ball from a lineout and ran past Mandy Marchak, fended off fullback Julianne Zussman and ran the ball in to give England some much needed breathing room. She kicked a conversion to cap a spectacular tournament for the England centre.

“It’s just a missed tackle,” Ratier said. “We tried to tackle high but (Scarratt) has a really strong upper body. We should have gone lower but that’s the way it is.”

Harvey had all of Canada’s points on three penalties and finished the tournament with 61 points, second only to Scarratt’s 70.

It was Canada’s first appearance in the World Cup final. Its previous best finish was fourth, which it did in three consecutive tournaments from 1998 to 2006. England, meanwhile, ended 16 years of heartache by finally winning it after finishing as runner-up to New Zealand in the last three tournaments.

Harvey was named the IRB women’s player of the year after the game. Canadian captain Kelly Russell was also a finalist for the award.

Harvey and Russell were two of the five Canadian players on the World Cup roster who were on the team that lost to New Zealand in the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens final.

Canada fought to a 13-13 draw with England during the group stage, but it looked like a different English side in the first half on Sunday. They keyed in on Harvey and prevented her from making a game-breaking run as she did in Canada’s semifinal win over host France.

On offence, England used its size to exert all sorts of pressure, making several dangerous advances into Canadian territory.

Scarratt opened the scoring 11 minutes into the match. England drew a penalty after an impressive break from Natasha Hunt, who used her speed to run down the middle deep into the Canadian zone.

England could have come away with more early on, but Canada’s defence held firm with some solid tackling.

Canada was spared a try when Hunt was tackled near the touch-line. An official review declared Hunt had not moved the ball into touch when she was brought down by Andrea Burk.

England kept coming, and Scarratt kicked her second penalty of the game at the 25-minute mark to put England up 6-0.

Canada had trouble getting into England’s zone and it proved costly when Danielle Waterman capped a series of crisp passes and scored the game’s first try at the 33 minute mark. Scarratt missed the convert as England went up 11-0.

“We were not able to match physically. At times we were dominant but they were more consistent,” Ratier said.

“They won some balls and we were not able to attack on the outside. We tried, but they were just better at defence.”

Canada finally started to get some momentum late in the half, and it paid off with a key penalty before the break when England was called for offside. Harvey converted the kick on the last play of the half to cut the deficit to 11-3.

Harvey started the second half with two long penalties, the second from 42 yards out, and Canada suddenly looked dangerous trailing just 11-9.

But that was as close as Canada would come. Scarratt responded with a penalty one minute later to restore England’s advantage to five points.

Canada had some opportunities to close the gap, but Scarratt rescued her team when she scored a try with six minutes left in regulation, and added two points on a conversion.

Canada continued to press for their first try of the game as time ran out. While the Canadians were able to get deep into England’s zone, the English did an excellent job of preventing any runs on the outside from getting through.

“I was happy with how I played, how my team set me up, how they played,” Harvey said. “It’s too bad it couldn’t go until the end, so it wasn’t enough.”

Magali’s scoring, including an incredible try against France where she ran the length of the field, has made her the breakout star of the Canadian team. Ratier said while she is a good teammate and a good player, she is still only one part of the team.

“She’s a winger, so she scores tries because it’s her job,” Ratier said. “She’s the first to get a bit annoyed when she’s made out to be the star of the team, because she doesn’t feel like that at all.”

But Ratier sees the value of having someone like Harvey become the face of the team, especially for a sport like women’s rugby which is still finding a foothold in the Canadian sports landscape.

“It’s good for visibility, it’s good for marketing, it’s good for promotion of the sport, it’s good for the image big time,” he said.

Farm honours Derek Jeter by carving his likeness into 5-acre corn maze – National

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. – As far as corny Derek Jeter tributes go, this one will be tough to beat.

A farm in central New Jersey carved an image of the New York Yankees captain and a thank you message to him into its five-acre corn maze. The VonThun Farm in South Brunswick is about 55 miles south of Yankee Stadium.

“Thanks Captain Clutch” is carved into the maze, along with a baseball with Jeter’s No. 2 on it. Farm owner Cindy VonThun said the maze will be open from Sept. 20 through Halloween.

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“This was just something totally different,” she said. “To walk out in the field and to be on a path and to say, ‘I’m in Derek Jeter’s chin,’ it’s pretty cool.”

Jeter is retiring after 19 seasons with the Yankees. He has been honoured at Major League ballparks around the country this year, including by former President George W. Bush, who presented him with a photo from his presidential library last month in Texas.

But this is the first known instance of him being honoured with a corn maze.

VonThun said the original idea was to do a design this year with a tractor carrying pumpkins. She said that the company in Utah that it contracts with to build the maze, The Maize Company, came up with the idea to honour Jeter.

“You’re in the middle of Jeter Country, why wouldn’t you be doing a tribute to this man, he’s wonderful,” she said of the company’s thoughts. “Everyone’s going to love that more than they’re going to love a tractor pulling some wagons, pulling some pumpkins. We thought about it and thought why not.”

She said that company maps out the image and then uses chemicals to prevent corn from growing in the spots that become the pathways of the maze, which can take an hour or longer to go through.

The farm celebrated its 100th anniversary last year and is known for its fall corn maze. The farm has previously carved a salute to Rutgers football into the maze.

The Maize Company also recently created a maze with “Today” show weatherman Al Roker’s likeness on it for a farm in Iowa.

©2014The Canadian Press

‘It limits our creativity’: Edmonton bartender on Alberta liquor law

EDMONTON – As the demand to prepare original, inventive cocktails grows in Alberta, some bartenders believe an Alberta liquor policy is tying their hands, creatively speaking.

“We have to work around these rules,” said Brady Grumpelt, manager and instructor at Edmonton’s Fine Art Bartending School.

“There are definitely things that I would like to be doing but I simply can’t.”

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According to the Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission, “it is prohibited to adulterate or alter liquor in any way. Nothing may be added (including ice, mixes or flavouring agents) until the liquor is used to prepare a drink requested by a patron.”

The main concern with the policy for bartenders is the fact they aren’t able to infuse their own liquors.

“As a bartender, it limits our creativity a little bit,” said Grumpelt. “Being limited to only certain pre-made brands really holds back on what we’re able to give to the customers as an experience.”

Grumpelt says if Alberta bartenders were able to infuse their own liquors, it would drastically increase the variety of customized cocktails they’re able to offer customers.

“We can age cocktails for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks; and that is one of the methods that is very popular down in the States, out in Vancouver, Toronto and we’re just not able to do it here,” Grumpelt said, recalling a barrel-aged Manhattan he really enjoyed while in Victoria.

READ MORE: Should Alberta modernize its liquor laws?

The policy came under review a couple of years ago, but was found to be appropriate for protecting the health and safety of consumers, according to the AGLC. A spokesperson with the AGLC says it’s also important to ensure consumers know exactly what they’re putting in their bodies.

“The concern is – with mixing liquor products or adding food or any kind of additive – it does change the composition and level of alcohol in the product,” said Tatjana Laskovic, a spokesperson with the AGLC.

“The goal is to be responsive to industry and consumer trends, but we also need to balance that with social responsibility.”

However, Grumpelt maintains that – if done correctly – infusing liquor doesn’t drastically alter the alcohol content.

“This is just another regulation that’s thrown on there which ultimately just ties bartenders’ hands.”

According to the province, 76 per cent of Albertans consume alcohol; and the province leads the way nationally in alcohol sales growth.

Earlier this summer the AGLC said it was in the process of preparing a broad-based review of liquor laws and policies in the province, which were last overhauled in 2008.

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry formally pleads not guilty to power abuse charges – National

WATCH: Republican Governor Rick Perry of Texas turned himself in to authorities on Tuesday after he was indicted by a grand jury on a pair of felony charges for alleged abuse of power.

AUSTIN, Texas – Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry has formally pleaded not guilty to criminal charges of leveraging his power to try to oust a Democratic district attorney convicted of drunken driving, according to court documents obtained Wednesday.

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The potential 2016 presidential candidate entered his plea in a Travis County court filing. He also waived an arraignment that had been set for Friday.

The waiver was no surprise given that Perry has signalled no intention of the felony charges interrupting a busy travel schedule to court Republican voters.

READ MORE: Texas Gov. Perry says indictment is abuse of power, will fight against it

The governor has dismissed the case as a political ploy, laughing off concerns that it could be potentially unflattering as he strongly considers a second presidential run in 2016. Many top national conservatives are lining up to support him, including some potential future White House rivals.

Perry’s plea was filed with the court late Tuesday, shortly after the longest-serving governor in Texas history was fingerprinted and had his mug shot taken. He tweeted a picture of himself stopping for vanilla ice cream on the way back from his booking.

Perry was indicted last week on charges of coercion and official oppression for vetoing $7.5 million for the state public integrity unit, which investigates wrongdoing by elected officials and is run by the Travis County district attorney’s office. Perry threatened the veto if the county’s Democratic district attorney, Rosemary Lehmberg, stayed in office after a drunken driving conviction.

Lehmberg refused to resign and Perry carried out the veto, drawing an ethics complaint from a left-leaning government watchdog group.

Perry was indicted by a grand jury in Austin, a liberal bastion in otherwise mostly fiercely conservative Texas.

WATCH: Gov. Rick Perry turns himself in to authorities

If convicted on both counts, Perry could face a maximum 109 years in prison – though legal experts across the political spectrum have said the case against him may be a tough sell to a jury. No one disputes that Perry has the right to veto any measures passed by the state Legislature, including any parts of the state budget.

But the complaint against Perry alleges that by publicly threatening a veto and trying to force Lehmberg to resign, he coerced her. The Republican judge assigned to the case has assigned a San Antonio-based special prosecutor who insists the case is stronger than it may outwardly appear.

The governor has hired a team of high-powered attorneys, who are being paid with state funds to defend him.

Perry is the first Texas governor to be indicted since 1917. Top Republicans have been especially quick to defend him, though, since a jail video following Lehmberg’s April 2013 arrest showed the district attorney badly slurring her words, shouting at staffers to call the sheriff, kicking the door of her cell, and sticking her tongue out. Her blood alcohol level was also three times the legal limit for driving.

©2014The Canadian Press

Cyber attacks an ongoing threat to business – National

TORONTO – More than one-third of Canada’s IT professionals know – for sure – that they’d had a significant data breach over the previous 12 months that could put their clients or their organizations at risk, a cybersecurity study suggests.

And as startling as that statistic may be, the actual number of breaches could be higher since the same international study found 56 per cent of the 236 Canadian respondents said they believed threats sometimes fall through the cracks.

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“Even the best-protected networks have regular security incidents,” says Jeff Debrosse, director of security research for Websense, a U.S.-based security company that commissioned the study.

“It’s a 24-7 onslaught. It’s a barrage of attacks and attempts to penetrate the defences.”

Debrosse says it’s a real challenge for organizations to understand their vulnerabilities, let alone prevent breaches. Technology is improving, he adds, but it’s more important to share information about attacks within and among organizations.

“It’s not just about the vendors, it’s about creating this ecosystem of threat intelligence. And that’s a very important area of focus today,” Debrosse says.

A Statistics Canada report in June said that six per cent of the 17,000 private Canadian enterprises it surveyed had experienced an Internet security breach in 2013. About one-quarter of those reporting a breach – representing roughly 260 companies – said client or proprietary information had been corrupted, stolen or accessed without authorization.

“It’s a bit misleading because we’re not 100 per cent sure exactly how accurate the numbers are, really,” says Mike Park, an Ottawa-based cybersecurity expert now working for Trustwave, which has its global headquarters in Chicago.

“It seems, in the last couple of years, the only time you’re really heard anything – a major breach or anything like that – is when it has become such big news that no one can keep a lid on it . . . or when its politically expedient.”

A couple of recent examples of highly publicized Canadian breaches both involved the federal government.

The Canada Revenue Agency discovered in April that somebody had exploited the Heartbleed security flaw, causing the CRA to call in the RCMP and temporarily shut down its public website for a weekend at a busy time of the tax year. Days later, the agency revealed that 900 social insurance numbers had been compromised.

The Canadian government said in July that a “highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor” had hacked computer systems at the National Research Council, forcing it to shut down its IT network and isolate it from other government systems.

Park points out that in Canada, there’s no federal law that requires private companies to disclose breaches to the government or those affected. That may change with Bill S-4, the Digital Privacy Act, now before Parliament.

The act proposes making it mandatory for federally regulated businesses, as well as federal government agencies, to report significant breaches to the federal privacy commissioner and to customers and clients whose private information was leaked.

The Websense report done by the Ponemon Institute, a private-sector think-tank that conducts independent research on privacy, data protection and information security policy, was based on responses from 4,881 IT and IT security specialists in 15 countries surveyed in November.

Among other things, Ponemon found 36 per cent of the Canadian companies in the study had experienced one or more cyber attack over the previous year that infiltrated networks or enterprise systems.

It also found 89 per cent of the Canadian respondents said they personally know another security professional whose company had sensitive of confidential data stolen as a result of an inside threat.

It also found 23 per cent of the Canadian cyber security teams never speak with their executive team. Of those who did, nearly half did so only annually or semi-annually, while only two per cent talked weekly with executives about security.

“If the conversation is happening less than monthly, that’s a pretty significant problem,” Debrosse says.

That’s because there needs to be an ongoing assessment of what personnel, software, hardware or outside security vendors are required to deal with the risks. There also has to be an understanding, at the top, of the potential costs so they can be included in the organization’s budgeting and pricing decisions.

“If they’re not calculating the probability of a cyber event (and) loss due to various incidents, when they’re hit with one of them it is a major ordeal,” Debrosse says.

Charles Henderson, a U.S.-based director within Trustwave’s SpiderLabs, which uses hacking techniques to detect vulnerabilities for clients, says Canadian companies face different types of threat than their U.S. counterparts.

“You do see different systems targeted,” Henderson says.

Canadians credit and debit cards, for instance, use computer chips and passwords that are more secure than the magnetic stripes still used commonly in the United States. That means criminals are more likely to target transactions where card information is entered without a physical contact.

Henderson says that in both countries there are companies that will do the minimum to deal with cyber security.

“This should be an absolute red flag for an executive, if they see it in an organization.”

©2014The Canadian Press

Winnipeg Blue Bombers unveil new helmets – Winnipeg

WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Blue Bombers looked more blue than gold during Monday’s practice.

Players wore their new CFL Signature helmets while running drills. They feature a light blue digital camouflage print over a dark blue helmet.

“I like it,” said Bombers quarterback Drew Willy. “It’s something different. You see every team has a little bit of a different flair to their uniforms. For us, it’s a good look.”

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“Ehn,” disagreed Bombers slotback Paris Cotton. “It’s different. Just the pattern, it’s kind of off.”

The full uniforms won’t be unveiled until Tuesday.

The league has partnered up with Reebok to design new jerseys for each team.

Take Our Poll

The Bombers (5-3) will debut the uniforms during Friday’s home game against the Montreal Alouettes (1-6).

Winnipeg will wear the new jerseys once this season.

THIRD DOWN: The Bombers have signed receiver Kemonte’ Bateman and offensive Chad Anderson to their practice roster.

Bateman was released by the Edmonton Eskimos this off-season. The Los Angeles product originally signed with the team last September. Bateman spent time with the NFL’s Denver Broncos before heading to Edmonton.

Anderson previously played for the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts. He’s the brother of current Bombers defender Zach Anderson.

READ MORE: Global News coverage of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Want to discover a planet? You can do that and more with citizen science – National

TORONTO – If you’ve ever wanted to be a scientist but life took you on a different career path, your dream isn’t over.

Around the world, thousands of people have made contributions to science from discovering potential planets, counting sunspots, measuring the darkness of the night sky, understanding whale calls, classifying tropical cyclones and more.

It’s called citizen science and it’s something that’s gained popularity over the past few years.

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What is it?

These types of projects involve the everyday person – no scientific background involved. Most often it’s analyzing images or patterns – it’s quick and it’s easy, and you can do it on your own time, likely the reason for the increased popularity.

One organization that has several citizen science projects is Zooniverse. It offers projects ranging from space to climate to humanities.

“It started with one project, Galaxy Zoo. We were interested in the problem of how we ended up with a mix of galaxies that we have around us in the universe today,” said Zooniverse director Chris Lintott. “And if you want to understand that, you need to understand what shape the galaxies are.”

Barred Spiral Galaxy COSMOS 3127341. Citizen scientists around the world have helped classify distant galaxies like this one.

NASA, ESA, K. Sheth (Spitzer Science Center, California Institute of Technology), and P. Capak and N. Scoville (California Institute of Technology)

Lintott said that he and his team quickly realized that it was a fairly easy task: human beings could tell the difference between shapes – whether it was elliptical or a circle with a bar in the centre, for example. And it turns out, humans are better at it than computers.

“This didn’t use to be a problem, except that modern astronomical surveys produce millions of images,” Lintott said. After a graduate student looked at 50,000 images, he and his team realized that this was the way to go.

READ MORE: There are billions of Earth-like, just-right planets out there, study says

Lintott and his team quickly put up a website, Galaxy Zoo, and were surprised at the response it received.

“This idea of contributing to something and to be able to spare a few minutes to do some science, turned out to be really popular,” Lintott said.

Lintott said that soon enough other scientists were contacting him.

“They kind of said, ‘You know your people who want to look at galaxies, do you think they’d also want to look at my data?’ And so we realized that this was something we could do for all sorts of things.”

One of the most successful of the projects is Planet Hunters. This was a surprise to Lintott.

“The idea that people will look at graphs for fun, which is essentially what we’re asking people to do…really speaks to this idea that people are taking part in these projects because they want to contribute to science, not because they’re enjoying browsing images.”

That project – Planet Hunters – resulted in the discovery of the first planet in a four-star system.

An artist’s illustration of Kepler-64b or PH1, a planet discovered by volunteers from the Planet Hunters citizen science project. PH1, shown in the foreground, is the first reported case of a planet orbiting a double-star that, in turn, is orbited by a second distant pair of stars.

Haven Giguere/Yale

And the fun part is that if you do help with a discovery, you get your name on the discovery announcement.

READ MORE: Habitable planets – Is E.T. out there?

“I think that just being able to tell people, that just a few moments of time that they spared has lead to the discovery of something, is really exciting,” said Lintott.

But even if you don’t get into one of those announcements, Lintott was quick to point out that you’re still making a contribution: Scientists are able to get a better understanding of the subject that they’re studying.

And people shouldn’t be scared off by the idea that they’re doing real science: the data that they look at is also looked at by others in order to get a consensus. It then goes on to the scientists of the program.

Not just space

There are several projects on Zooniverse’s site, and not just in space science.

Lintott said that more than a million pages of have been catalogued in the Old Weather project that aims to transcribe ships’ logs. There’s also cataloguing whale calls, examining soldiers’ diaries from World War I, and exploring the ocean floor, to name a few.

Citizen scientists can help classify whale calls.

File/Global News

Marc Kuchner, principal investigator for Goddard Space Flight Center’s Disk Detective project – part of Zooniverse – said that citizen science can play an important role in discoveries.

“I think it’s an underutilized resource for scientists,” he said.

But it shouldn’t be. Kuchner notes that there are 277,000 sources of images for Disk Detective and since it was launched in January, there have been more than 800,000 classifications.

“It boggles the mind,” he said.

For the Disk Detective project, astronomers can learn more about the the formation of planets, thus providing us with a better understanding of our planetary evolution. And this is something extraordinary to Kuchner.

“This is the window into the origin of our planet.”

The future of citizen science

Lintott said that there are many more projects on the way. But he doesn’t just mean just through Zooniverse. The team hopes that scientists will be able to use their tools to build their own projects.

And there are other citizen science sites available. Crowdcrafting is another one that currently has eight projects, including Dark Skies ISS, which asks people to classify images taken from the International Space Station.

Kuchner is grateful to have people interested in contributing to science, no matter what the field.

“It’s wonderful to live in an era when we can actually involve people in the joy of doing it; involving people in the process of making a scientific discovery,” he said.

“And that lights up my face every time.”

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau looking to win back seats in Alberta

WATCH ABOVE: The federal Liberals are holding their summer caucus in Edmonton this week. Tom Vernon sat down with party leader Justin Trudeau.

EDMONTON —  The Liberal Party of Canada has an eye on Alberta, in hopes of breaching the Conservative stronghold in the next federal election.

Justin Trudeau and his three dozen Liberal MPs gathered in Edmonton Monday for a three-day caucus retreat.

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Global Edmonton’s political affairs reporter Tom Vernon will sit down with the party leader for an interview. Possible topics include the recent break-in at Trudeau’s Ottawa home, the Northern Gateway and Keystone XL pipelines, his stance on legalizing marijuana and the Liberal’s prospects in Alberta.

The Liberals have said they could win as many as six inner-city ridings in Calgary and Edmonton, with an outside chance at snagging Fort McMurray, where the party placed a strong second in a June 30 byelection.

In the past 60 years, the most seats the Liberals have help at once in Alberta is four, and they’ve frequently wound up with none.

The Grits lost their only seat in Alberta during the 2006 election, when Conservative Laurie Hawn defeated Liberal Anne McLellan in Edmonton Centre.

A recent EKOS poll on the political landscape in Canada shows if they were to vote in an election today, 37.8 per cent of respondents would choose the Liberals, up from the 18.9 per cent in 2011.

On Monday in Edmonton, Justin Trudeau said he doesn’t put much stock in public opinion surveys.

“Polls don’t mean anything, as we all know and as we all say,” he said.

As he heads into a crucial year of non-stop campaigning before the next scheduled election in 2015, Trudeau said he prefers to rely on other indicators: the enthusiastic response of Canadians everywhere he goes, the party’s success in a series of byelections, and improvements in party membership and fundraising numbers.

“All those things together, plus the extraordinary candidates that we’re drawing to us across the country, give us a sense that … we’re doing the right kind of work to earn Canadians’ trust,” Trudeau said.

READ MORE: Trudeau confident Liberals can lead federal government in 2015

But he acknowledged those signs of momentum won’t necessarily translate into victory a year from now.

“As much as we can say, ‘Oh yeah, the Liberal party is doing well’ and great, that’s nice to see and nice to hear, we’re still at only 30-some-odd seats in the House of Commons.

“We’ve got an awful lot of work to do to demonstrate that we are the alternative government, that we are ready to form a responsible government in 2015,” he said.

With files from the Canadian Press

Tuesday Aug. 20th on The Morning News – Halifax

We have a great interview for you before you get your motor runnin’ and head out on the highway. Sailor Jerry and Bikers For Autism have teamed up and are riding for the cause for 15 days from Vancouver to St. John’s along the TCH with a stop in Halifax. At 6:45 we’ll meet James Baker, the founder of BFA who just happens to be looking for adventure and whatever comes his way.

The Children and Youth in Challenging Contexts or CYCC is looking for mental health heroes.   These are young people who are willing to share their personal stories about facing mental health challenges – to ultimately help others.  At 7:15 we’ll talk with one of the organizers of this initiative.

At 7:45 we’ll talk back to school budgeting with our financial guru Leanne Salyzyn of Salyzyn & Associates. Leanne stops by the red table to tell us about the R’s, guidelines to help you stay in the black for back to school.

This week’s Foodie Tuesday brings together the ingredients of Ancient Greece: food & athletics. Chef Craig Flinn serves up a lamb-inspired dish with the help of three-time Olympian Karen Furneaux. Our Gold Medal Plate series continues at 8:15am!

At 8:45 we’ll take a look at race relations here in the city with Halifax Police’s Equity Diversity Officer Constable Shaun Carvery. He’s been working to improve relationships in the city between police and the black youth with the aim of trying to prevent a similar situation as the tragic events that unfolded in Missouri last week.

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Pope leaves South Korea after urging peace – National

SEOUL, South Korea – Pope Francis wrapped up his first trip to Asia on Monday by challenging Koreans -from the North and the South – to reject the “mindset of suspicion and confrontation” that clouds their relations and find new ways to forge peace on the war-divided peninsula.

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Before boarding a plane back to Rome, the pope held a Mass of reconciliation at Seoul’s main cathedral, attended by South Korean President Park Geun-hye as well as some North Korean defectors. It was the final event of a five-day trip that confirmed the importance of Asia for this papacy and for the Catholic Church as a whole, given the church is young and growing here whereas it is withering in traditionally Christian lands in Europe.

Francis’ plea for peace came as the United States and South Korea started a joint military drill that North Korea warned would result in a “merciless pre-emptive strike” against the allies.

In a poignant moment at the start of the Mass on Monday, Francis bent down and greeted seven women, many sitting in wheelchairs, who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II. One gave him a pin of a butterfly – a symbol of these “comfort women’s” plight – which he immediately pinned to his vestments and wore throughout the Mass.

Francis said in his homily that reconciliation can be brought about only by forgiveness, even if it seems “impossible, impractical and even at times repugnant.”

“Let us pray, then, for the emergence of new opportunities for dialogue, encounter and the resolution of differences, for continued generosity in providing humanitarian assistance to those in need, and for an ever greater recognition that all Koreans are brothers and sisters, members of one family, one people,” he said.

During his trip the pope reached out to China, North Korea and a host of other countries that have no relations with the Holy See.

The pope will visit the Philippines in January, along with Sri Lanka. In Seoul on Monday, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the archbishop of Manila, said Francis is offering “a friendly hand to the other countries, and assuring the countries we are not here for any worldly ambition, we are not here as conquerors, we are here as brothers and sisters.”

Francis laid out these themes from the start of his visit, which was clouded by the firing of five rockets from Pyongyang into the sea. North Korea later said the test firings had nothing to do with Francis’ arrival but rather commemorated the 69th anniversary of Korea’s independence from Japanese occupation.

The U.S.-South Korean military exercises starting Monday and involving tens of thousands of troops are described by the allies as routine and defensive, but Pyongyang sees them as invasion preparation. A spokesman for the North Korean army’s general staff said in a statement Sunday carried by state media that a “most powerful and advanced merciless pre-emptive strike will start any time chosen by us.”

Such rhetoric is typical from the North and direct strikes by Pyongyang are rare, although attacks blamed on the North in 2010 killed 50 South Koreans.

Before the Mass, Seoul Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung dedicated a “crown of thorns” to the pope made from barbed wire taken from the heavily fortified demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas. “Ut unum sint” reads the inscription “That they may be one” – a phrase usually invoked when praying for unity among Catholics, Orthodox and other Christians but given an entirely new meaning in the Korean context.

In his homily, Francis said the Korean people knew well the pain of division and conflict and urged them to reflect on how they individually and as a people could work to reconcile.

He challenged them to “firmly reject a mindset shaped by suspicion, confrontation and competition, and instead to shape a culture formed by the teaching of the Gospel and the noblest traditional values of the Korean people.”

When he was a young Jesuit, the Argentine-born Francis had wanted to be a missionary in Asia but was kept home because of poor health. He used his trip to South Korea to rally young Asians in particular to take up the missionary call to spread the faith.

He also used the trip to console Koreans: He met on several occasions with relatives of victims of the Sewol ferry sinking, in which 300 people were killed in April. Throughout his trip, he wore a yellow pin on his cassock that was given to him by the families.

On Monday, he received the butterfly pin from Kim Bok-dong, one of the “comfort women” who attended his Mass. These elderly South Koreans, many of whom regularly appear at rallies and other high-profile events, are looking for greater global attention as they push Japan for a new apology and compensation.

In an interview with The Associated Press before the Mass, another one of the women, Lee Yong-soo, who often speaks to the media, said she hoped the meeting would provide some solace for the pain she and others still feel more than seven decades after they were violated.

AP writer Foster Klug and video editor Kiko Rosario contributed to this story from Seoul.

©2014The Canadian Press

Accused in Castor triple homicide make first court appearance

WATCH ABOVE: Two men charged in the murder of a central Alberta family made their first court appearance Monday morning. Fletcher Kent reports.

RED DEER — A man charged in the deaths of his parents and sister appeared via video conference to hear charges read in Red Deer provincial court Monday.

Jason Klaus, 38, looked sombre as he and co-accused Joshua Gregory Frank, 29, were each formally charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of arson.

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READ MORE: Alberta man charged with first-degree murder in deaths of parents, sister

The remains of Klaus’s father and sister, Gordon and Monica Klaus were found in the rubble of a burned-out farmhouse in Castor, Alta. in December.

The body of his mother, Sandra Klaus, wasn’t found but RCMP have said that they believe she also died in the fire.

Relatives of the Klaus family asked for privacy as they left the courthouse. “It’s been a lot to digest,” one said.

Klaus and Frank are scheduled to make their next appearance Sept. 17. They’re in custody at the Red Deer Remand Centre.

Emergency responders found the family’s dog shot dead outside the home.

RCMP say they are not looking for any other suspects.

With files from the Canadian Press

Early access period for Pan Am Games tickets starts Sept. 15 – Toronto

TORONTO – The early access period to request tickets for next year’s Pan Am Games in Toronto will begin Sept. 15.

Organizers will use a lottery system for high-demand events to ensure fans have equal access to tickets. There will be over 400 ticketed events for the July 10-26 Games and almost 1.4 million tickets will be available.

Ticket prices will range from $20-$140 for athletic events and $90-$350 for the ceremonies.

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“We’ve gone with the theme of, ‘Affordable, Fun and Accessible,’ and we want families to show up,” said organizing committee CEO Saad Rafi.

Tickets can be requested via the Games’ website or by phone. The request phase will last for three weeks and end on Oct. 6.

Customers will receive an email in late November to let them know whether their ticket requests were successful, organizers said. Any remaining tickets will then go on sale in December on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Athletics medal events ($80-$140) and swimming ($40-$140) are two of the more expensive events at the Games. Competitions like baseball ($20-$35), soccer ($20-$35) and rugby sevens ($20-$45) are on the cheaper side.

“Best of all, our tickets are priced to be affordable for families – more than 75 per cent will be $45 or less,” Rafi said. “Our ceremonies and gold-medal event tickets will be in great demand, so we encourage everyone to plan their Games experience now.”

The opening ceremonies, featuring a performance by Cirque du Soleil, will range from $100-$350.

Ticket prices for the closing ceremonies will range from $90-$200. That event will feature entertainment acts to be confirmed at a later date.

About 6,000 athletes from 41 countries are expected to participate at the Games.

Information on tickets for the Aug. 7-15 Parapan Am Games will be released at a later date.

©2014The Canadian Press

Home prices in red-hot Toronto race higher and higher

The real estate board for the country’s largest, and arguably hottest, housing market said Monday prices are up nearly 10 per cent again through the first two weeks of August compared to the same two-week stretch last year.

That sizable gain is well above where many experts saw home prices trending a year ago.

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The average home in the greater Toronto area is selling for $538,530 at the moment, the Toronto Real Estate Board said in its mid-month update, amid “tight market conditions, especially for detached and semi-detached houses.”

That average home was exactly 9.4 per cent more expensive compared to last August, when experts were suggesting the Toronto market was about to enter a lengthy slowdown amid rising interest rates.

Aside from some seasonal weakness related to a brutally cold winter, there’s been no slow down.

“We’ve been seeing the average year-over-year gain in and around that [10 per cent] neighbourhood for the last few months,” said TREB’s Jason Mercer, who heads up market analysis for the board.

MORE: Home values stretched by at least 10%, bank report says

Here’s how home prices in the greater Toronto area have performed dating back to January 2005.

Click here to view data »

Overvalued?

Experts suggest the persistence of extraordinarily low borrowing rates are priming a market many believe is overvalued by at least 10 per cent.

“Low interest rates continued to fuel the Canadian housing market,” Leslie Preston at TD Economics said in a research note last week.

Preston cautioned, “existing home prices are on track to outstrip income growth for a second straight year … which adds to concerns about an already-overpriced market.”

Demand from buyers

Still, in Toronto buyers are lining up even in the face of sky-high prices.

Homes in the GTA are being snapped up at a faster pace this month compared to last August, TREB said, indicating that “competition between buyers increased relative to the same period last year,” according to Mercer.

Broken down by home type, TREB’s mid-month data show still huge demand for detached homes despite their far higher price tag compared to condos and townhouses. Detached prices are up 12.3 per cent on average across the metro area and suburbs, to $692,402.

Semi-detached homes sold for an average of $504,224, up 9.9 per cent.

MORE: Here’s the hottest housing market in Canada nobody’s talking about

Toronto’s closely watched condo market continues to remain in positive territory as well – even as fears remain about the record number of units that have been built in recent years, which have yet to be fully absorbed by the market place.

Condo prices are up 2.6 per cent on average, according to TREB, to $353,136.

The numbers follow the release of average prices for July across the country from the Canadian Real Estate Association.

Here’s how prices on an average single-family home stack up across the country: