TIME Canada

Canadian City Eyes ‘Freezeway’ for Commuters to Skate to Work

Edmonton, Alberta considers proposal to flood a 7-mile path to create a skating route into the city center

One Canadian city is looking to make the most of the frigid temperatures that come with winter in much of North America. The city of Edmonton, Alberta is eyeing plans to flood a 11km (7-mile) path in the city to create a skate route for commuters, or a “freezeway.”

Matthew Gibbs, a landscape architecture student who grew up in Edmonton, first floated the concept in 2013, when he took home the top prize in the Coldscapes international design competition. This winter, he presented it again at the 2015 Winter Cities conference, according to BBC, an event centered on finding ways for cities to make the best of the long, cold months of winter.

While Gibbs’ freezeway idea was a hit this year, many lawmakers and residents worry about cost and steering resources away from more serious issues.

Read more at BBC.

 

TIME Canada

Canadian Boy Dies After Spending Several Hours in the Cold

Elijah Marsh.
Toronto Police/EPA Elijah Marsh.

3-year old Elijah Marsh wandered away from an apartment building in Toronto

A young boy died Thursday after spending several hours outdoors in frigid Canada temperatures.

Security footage showed three-year-old Elijah Marsh wandering away from his Toronto apartment wearing a T-shirt, diaper and winter boots around 4:20 a.m., the Toronto Star reports. Police found the boy around 10 a.m., when he showed no vital signs. He was taken to a hospital and later declared dead.

The temperature in Toronto at the time was around -4° F.

[The Toronto Star]

TIME Canada

It’s OK to Strip Search Students for Drugs if It’s ‘Respectful,’ Canadian Official Says

Quebec's Minister of Education Yves Bolduc waves to the crowd after being appointed by Premier Philippe Couillard during a swearing-in ceremony at the National Assembly in Quebec City, April 23, 2014.
Mathieu Belanger—Reuters Quebec's Minister of Education Yves Bolduc waves to the crowd after being appointed by Premier Philippe Couillard during a swearing-in ceremony at the National Assembly in Quebec City, April 23, 2014.

After a student said a search left her feeling "violated"

A top Canadian education official said Tuesday that it’s OK to strip search students suspected of concealing drugs—as long as it’s done in a “respectful” way.

“It is permitted to do strip searches, on one condition: It must be very respectful,” Quebec Education Minister Yves Bolduc said at the National Assembly, the Montreal Gazette reports.

Bolduc was defending the decision to strip search a 15-year-old student at a Quebec City high school, where staff reportedly believed she had offered to sell marijuana to her friend. The student told a local newspaper that she had jokingly sent a text message to a friend, offering to sell him “pot.” After a teacher confiscated the phone and saw the text, the student was escorted to a room and asked to take off her clothes behind a blanket. The search left her feeling “intimidated,” “violated,” “destroyed” and “ashamed,” according to the Journal de Québec.

A representative for local political party Coalition Avenir Québec said Bolduc should resign. “It was completely, completely wrong to say that it’s OK to force a teenage to get nude just because the principal thinks that maybe she has some drugs on her,” said Jean-François Roberge.

[Montreal Gazette]

TIME Laws

How Canada’s Right-to-Die Ruling Could Boost Movement in U.S.

Lee Carter embraces her husband Hollis Johnson while speaking to journalists at the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa on Feb. 6, 2015.
Chris Wattie—Reuters Lee Carter embraces her husband Hollis Johnson while speaking to journalists at the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa on Feb. 6, 2015.

Advocates say Supreme Court ruling could give momentum to U.S. states considering so-called 'death with dignity' bills

The Canadian Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision Friday that will allow physicians to provide life-ending medication to terminally ill patients.

The court ruled in part that banning a right to die in fact “deprives some individuals of life, as it has the effect of forcing some individuals to take their own lives prematurely, for fear that they would be incapable of doing so when they reached the point where suffering was intolerable.”

The groundbreaking 9-0 decision, which makes Canada one of just a handful of states to allow some form of “aid in dying,” comes as states in the U.S. consider allowing the practice for mentally competent patients with terminal illness. So-called death with dignity advocates said Friday that the decision by the U.S.’s northern neighbor could increase momentum across the border.

MORE: Death is Not Only for the Dying

“I think it will have a significant impact in the U.S.,” says Barbara Coombs-Lee, president of Compassion & Choices, a death with dignity advocacy group. “This isn’t happening in a far-off country. It sends a strong message throughout the continent.”

The “aid in dying” movements in Canada and the U.S. have similar histories. Both began around the late 1980s and early 1990s, and both have tried to achieve policy reforms through the courts and at the state or provincial level. But Friday’s Canadian court decision, which allows the practice nationwide, is a significant breakthrough for death with dignity advocates in Canada. It remains an unlikely scenario in the U.S., however, where reforms will likely come at a state level.

Peg Sandeen, executive director of the Death With Dignity National Center in the U.S., says she believes the court’s decision “will have a tremendous positive effect on a state-by-state level,” but that policy changes will continue to happen outside of Washington. The issue hasn’t gained much traction in Congress, and the Supreme Court isn’t likely to take up the issue anytime soon.

MORE: Why a Young Woman With Brain Cancer Moved to Oregon to Die

But there is considerable progress at the state level.

End-of-life practices are legal in Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington and Vermont, while legislation has been introduced in California, Colorado, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Wyoming, plus the District of Columbia. Coombs-Lee says it’s being considered in some form in 25 states.

The movement began making significant strides thanks to the widely publicized story of Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old newlywed with brain cancer who moved from California to Oregon, which is just one of five states that allow terminally ill patients to obtain life-ending medication.

One state that aid-in-dying advocates are currently watching closely is New York, where terminally ill patients recently filed a lawsuit that would allow the practice. State lawmakers are also reportedly considering introducing a death with dignity bill. But any sort of movement in U.S. federal courts like what happened in Canada will likely only occur once there’s more progress at the state level.

“I think a federal constitutional protection could be acknowledged at some point,” says Coombs-Lee, “but only after there is already a critical mass of states where it is already authorized.”

The Canadian decision struck down laws that banned doctors from participating in ending a patient’s life and reversed an earlier Supreme Court ruling, saying that current bans violated rights of life, liberty and security as protected by the country’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Last year, Quebec passed right-to-die legislation, making it the only Canadian province to allow the practice.

TIME Canada

An ‘ISIS Recruiting Network’ Has Been Broken Up in Canada

A 25-year-old Canadian is in custody

Federal authorities in Canada say they have crippled a jihadist-recruitment network following the arrest of a Canadian man they allege had ties to the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS).

Awso Peshdary allegedly helped people joined the terrorist group, which controls large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria, according to Agence France-Presse. The 25-year-old is reportedly in custody in Ottawa.

“We were able to disrupt an organized network associated with [ISIS],” said James Malizia, an assistant commissioner with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

“This network was involved in recruiting individuals for terrorism purposes and in sending them into Syria and Iraq for the benefit of this terrorist group.”

Peshdary had been arrested during a previous investigation but was released due to lack of evidence.

Authorities also issued international arrest warrants through Interpol for two Canadian suspects who are believed to have already fought for ISIS in the Middle East.

[AFP]

TIME viral

Watch a Daring Ice Climber Become the First to Conquer the Frozen Niagara Falls

"I may have reached the top, but Niagara won the war"

A number of brave souls have gone over the Niagara Falls, but on Tuesday Canadian ice climbers Will Gadd and Sarah Hueniken became the first people to scale the world famous landmark.

Initially kept secret by sponsor Red Bull, the daring stunt was officially announced when news of the harrowing climb began to spread, according to National Geographic.

The two climbers followed a route along the edge of Horseshoe Falls, a 150-foot waterfall that is considered to be the most powerful in the world. Hueniken, who grew up 20 miles away, belayed Gadd as he made the first ascent. Hueniken then followed around 40 minutes later.

To us regular folk it looks like victory, but Gadd felt as if Niagara may have won the battle.

“That climb beat me up. I may have reached the top, but Niagara won the war,” he told Red Bull. “At the end of the day I was hypothermic. That waterfall did a lot more damage to me than I did to it!”

TIME Aviation

Balloonists Break World Record with Pacific Ocean Crossing

The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images A hot-air balloon of the U.S. balloonist Troy Bradley and Russian Leonid Tiukhtyaev soars in Saga, Japan, on Jan. 25, 2015

The U.S.-Russian duo are set to land in Mexico on Saturday after taking off from Japan a week ago

When Troy Bradley and Leonid Tiukhtyaev land in Mexico on Saturday in their large helium balloon Two Eagles, they will have broken at least one and possibly two world records.

After setting out from Japan on Sunday and flying across the Pacific, the duo are on course to set new records for longest distance flown as well as longest duration in a helium balloon, the BBC reports.

Bradley and Tiukhtyaev needed to surpass a 1981 distance record of 5,208 miles by 1% (which put their target at 5,260 miles) in order to lay claim to the first record, which they did on Thursday according to a tweet from the team’s account. The record for longest duration, set in 1971, is 137 hours, five minutes and 50 seconds.

The American-Russian pair had originally planned to land in the U.S. or Canada, but bad weather forced them to change course.

[BBC]

TIME energy

When Will Oil Markets Find a Bottom?

No one really knows the answer, but the data suggests that prices will find a bottom as soon as this balancing is felt by the market. Or not

Remember the Sesame Street song?

One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn’t belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?

OK. Which curve on this chart is not like the others?

EIATop15LiquidsProducingCountries

It’s the U.S. and Canada’s oil production curve over the past several years.

That’s why oil prices have fallen: too much oil for the demand in the world. The tight oil from North America is the prime suspect in the production surplus that’s pushing down oil prices.

Now that you know the answer, let’s talk about IEA’s January report that was released. Here are my main takes from the report:

1. The fourth quarter 2014 supply surplus was 890,000 barrels per day (see the chart below). That is the difference between supply and demand. We can argue about whether it was mainly supply or mainly demand-I’ve stated my belief that it’s mostly supply-but that’s the difference between them. That is why oil prices are falling.

2. This surplus amount is 170,000 barrels per day greater than in the previous quarter.

3. Demand in the first half of 2015 will be 900,000 barrels per day lower than in the fourth quarter (see the second chart below). 1st half demand is usually lower than 2nd half but that means that prices could fall again.

4. 3rd quarter 2015 demand will increase by 1,530,000 barrels per day and 4th quarter demand will increase another 420,000 barrels per day. That is a lot and would take demand to record highs. This should go a long way towards moving prices higher.

IEAWorldLiquidsSupplyDemand
IEADemandForecast2015

 

Now, these are only estimates and IEA is notoriously wrong in their forecasts but that’s what we have to work with. They don’t estimate production which is too bad but the report says that 2015 production is now revised down 350,000 barrels per day from previous estimates. IEA expects that most of that will happen in the 2nd half of 2015 after North American tight oil production starts falling.

So, where does that leave us? The problem is mostly about supply but demand has to increase if we’re going to fix the surplus problem in 2015 because supply is not expected to fall that much.

I think this means that prices will increase in 2015 but not a lot unless something else happens. That something else will probably be an OPEC and Russia production cut in June after the next OPEC meeting.

Remember, the supply surplus in the 4th quarter of 2014 was less than 1 million barrels per day. OPEC can easily accommodate this and has made bigger cuts as recently as 2009.

Some geopolitical crisis could also happen in the coming year and that might add $20/barrel or so. Negative things for a price increase could also happen like demand not growing as much as IEA forecasts or production not falling enough.

When do oil prices stop falling? No one knows and this data doesn’t have enough resolution much less reliability to help answer the question.

EIA, however, may offer some help here. EIA publishes monthly world data and, in the chart below, they show supply and demand in approximate balance for November and December of 2014.

EIASupply&Demand

That may signal that prices will find a bottom as soon as this balancing is felt by the market. Or not.

This article originally appeared on OilPrice.com.

Read more from Oilprice.com:

TIME Canada

Winnipeg’s Boil-Water Advisory Isn’t Over Yet

Wednesday's tests for the bacteria came back negative, but the city advises boiling water as a precaution

Even though new tests show that Winnipeg water is safe for drinking, the city will continue to advise people to boil it as a precaution against E. Coli, at least until more results come in Thursday.

Abnormal test results that confirmed E. Coli in the water prompted the city to issue a warning Tuesday night, and officials are waiting for Manitoba’s chief medical officer to give the okay to lift the advisory, CBCNews reports.

“In terms of why the precautionary boil-water advisory is still in effect is there’s a decision tree, there’s a requirement to go through a process, there has to be a second set of resampling at those locations,” said Geoff Patton, the city’s acting director of its water and waste department,

Patton added that while water must be boiled before it’s used for drinking or cooking, people can still wash their hands with tap water.

Read more at CBCNews.

TIME Canada

Hero of Ottawa Attack Gets Rewarded With Ambassadorship

Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers is applauded in the House of Commons in Ottawa
Chris Wattie—Reuters Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers is applauded in the House of Commons in Ottawa October 23, 2014.

Kevin Vickers will become the Canadian ambassador to Ireland

The sergeant-at-arms of Canada’s House of Commons who took down the gunman in the October attack is now being rewarded for his bravery with the post of Ambassador to Ireland.

Kevin Vickers has little experience in diplomacy outside of protecting visiting dignitaries — including members of the British royal family — but his actions so impressed Prime Minister Stephen Harper that he was deemed well equipped for the (currently vacant) job.

“I think [his actions] speak for themselves and speak to his character, and I know he will do a tremendous job as ambassador,” said Prime Minister Harper.

“As a Canadian with family on both sides hailing from Ireland,” said Vickers, “there could be no greater honor.”

[NYT]

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