Frontal system brings snowfall warning to Coquihalla

A snowfall warning has been issued for the stretch of the Coquihalla Highway between Hope and Merritt, with roughly 15 centimetres expected to fall.

“A frontal system will bring heavy snow tonight,” according to the Environment Canada warning issued Friday.

“The snow will begin this evening and ease early Saturday morning. Snowfall amounts of 15 cm are expected by Saturday morning.”

Environment Canada warned that the rapidly accumulating precipitation will make travel difficult over some locations.

Winter tires or chains are required on most B.C. routes from Oct. 1 to April 30, though for some highways the requirement ends on March 31.

The rule will be enforced by police or other enforcement officials. It added that motorists who aren’t in compliance may be turned away and fined.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Why Canada has avoided egg shortages, major price spikes seen in U.S.

WATCH ABOVE: Avian flu puts pressure on producers, consumers

Canada’s egg industry appears to be quietly sidestepping widespread shortages and wildly spiking prices affecting other countries, and some say supply management is to thank.

The system, which controls the supply, import and farm price of eggs, poultry and dairy, is often criticized as benefitting Canadian farmers at the expense of consumers. Critics blame supply management whenever prices of eggs and milk in Canada surpass those south of the border.

But as disease, climate change and geopolitical unrest threaten global food supplies, supporters say the upside of supply management is increasingly apparent.

“We have a made-in-Canada system that has never been more critical to food security in Canada,” said University of Waterloo history professor Bruce Muirhead, a former research chair for Egg Farmers of Canada.

“It’s keeping family farms alive and eggs on store shelves at a time when we’re seeing shortages around the world.”

Canada isn’t immune to the conditions affecting egg prices and supply in other countries.

Avian influenza, or bird flu, labour shortages, supply chain issues and soaring feed, fuel and packaging costs have all affected egg production and processing costs in Canada over the past year.

Statistics Canada said egg prices climbed 16.5 per cent year over year in December, making a dozen eggs that cost about $3.25 last year now $3.75.

While it’s a significant increase, it’s a fraction of the spiralling costs recorded in other countries.

In the United States, for example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said egg prices were up 59.9 per cent in December compared with a year earlier.

In states like Arizona, California, Nevada and Florida, the cost of a carton of eggs exceeded US$6 a dozen or about $8 Canadian in recent weeks. Stores in some regions have even rationed eggs to avoid empty shelves amid supply chain issues and possible shortages.

The situation in the U.S. has prompted accusations of alleged price collusion among the nation’s top egg producers, while some news reports have suggested shoppers are travelling to border towns in Mexico or Canada to buy more affordable eggs.

In the United Kingdom, major supermarkets Tesco, Asda and Lidl have also set limits on how many eggs customers can buy, while some egg farmers say they can no longer break even. Egg prices in December were up 28.9 per cent year over year, the U.K.’s Office for National Statistics reported.

New Zealand is also experiencing a nationwide egg shortage, leaving some store shelves bare and even prompting some consumers to rush out to buy their own backyard chickens. Statistics New Zealand said in an email the country’s egg prices increased 28.8 per cent in December 2022 compared with December 2021.

But critics say prices in Canada haven’t soared as drastically as in other countries for the simple reason that prices were already high to begin with.

“When prices are already among the highest in the world, it’s no surprise that our prices didn’t spike quite as much,” said Krystle Wittevrongel, a senior policy analyst with the Montreal Economic Institute.

“It’s easy to maintain more price stability when we have huge, excessively high prices to begin with.”

Provincial egg marketing boards have indicated that prices in Canada are starting to come down.

Egg Farmers of Ontario, for example, dropped the price farmers receive for a dozen eggs by 14 cents as of Jan. 29. It’s unclear whether processors and retailers will pass along those savings to consumers, though egg prices in some stores appear to have lowered by a few cents in recent days.

While egg marketing boards set farm prices, processors set the wholesale price of eggs and grocers set the retail price consumers pay.

“We don’t set the retail price at all,” Egg Farmers of Canada CEO Tim Lambert said. “We get paid based on our costs of production. We’re seeing grain prices ease up right now, and so our barn gate price is decreasing.”

Meanwhile, egg supply in Canada has remained steady even as shortages continue to plague other countries.

“We have definitely faced challenges,” Lambert said. “But our system has been really robust at keeping eggs on the shelves. If there are shortages, they’re local and temporary.”

One of the strengths of Canada’s egg industry is the greater number of smaller farms across the country, he said.

The average egg farm in Canada has about 25,000 laying hens. In contrast, the average farm in the U.S. has about two million birds, Lambert said.

“It’s a highly concentrated big business in the U.S.,” Lambert said.

Cal-Maine Foods, the largest producer and distributor of shell eggs in the U.S., is traded on the Nasdaq with a total flock of about 42 million layers. Its share price has soared 45 per cent over the past year.

Experts say the challenge with a highly consolidated industry is that disease outbreak can have a larger effect on supply. For example, if the country’s laying hens are concentrated into a handful of larger barns _ rather than a larger number of smaller barns _ the impact of having to euthanize a flock during a bird flu outbreak is also bigger.

“In Canada, production is pretty well distributed across the across the country,” said Universite Laval professor Maurice Doyon, an Egg Industry Economic Research Chair. “Just mathematically the risk is lower, because we don’t have that huge concentration.”

In the United States, about 44.5 million laying hens were affected by avian influenza, representing about 14 per cent of production, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada spokesperson Samantha Seary said.

In Canada, about 1.6 million laying hens were affected by bird flu, or about six per cent of Canadian production, she said.

Canada’s egg industry is also better positioned to withstand other issues from supply chain problems to climate change, Doyon said.

“Supply management ensures a healthy enough margin that farmers in Canada can take care of the health of the hens and the environment because they have the means to do it,” he said.

Still, while supply management may create a sustainable egg industry, critics say it comes at too high a cost.

They say the advantages don’t outweigh the downsides of higher prices for consumers over the long run.

“Canada’s stuck on this protectionist, archaic system that benefits a small group of entrenched interests,” Wittevrongel said. “It seems like we’re in a better position now when in reality our prices are so much higher at any other time of year.”

But lots of items are more expensive in Canada than in the United States _ and the overwhelming majority are not supply managed, Doyon said.

“Let’s look at bread or a can of soup or even a new car. These are more expensive in Canada than in the United States, but they’re not under supply management,” he said.

Even among supply managed goods within Canada, items like eggs, milk and butter are generally much cheaper in bigger cities like Toronto than in other regions such as the Maritimes, Doyon said.

For example, a dozen Sobeys Compliments white large eggs cost $3.75 in Toronto, according to the chain’s Voila online grocery website. The exact same container of eggs in Halifax costs $4.85.

The price difference between Toronto and Halifax underscores the regional differences that exist even within the same country under the same system.

“I’m not saying that supply management has no impact. But you just cannot attribute the entire difference in price between say Canada and the United States to supply management.”

© 2023 The Canadian Press

Teen seeks apology after northern Ontario school board cancels visit from drag performers

A 16-year-old student says he wants an apology from his northern Ontario school board after it cancelled a planned event featuring drag performers who are travelling to Canadian schools with the aim of supporting LGBTQ youth.

Ra’Jah Mohamed, who was helping to organize a local stop of the Courage Across Canada Tour, says the event was to be held at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School, which he attends, but the Rainbow District School Board has cancelled it.

Mohamed, who is a member of the LGBTQ community, says he was told twice by board representatives that they felt the event would be “hypersexual.”

He says the event — featuring members of the television show “Canada’s Drag Race” — is designed for students and has been vetted by other school boards, and he says the cancellation perpetuates negative stereotypes of the drag community.

Kimora Amour, a drag performer who is part of the event, says the school board’s decision is disappointing and students deserve an apology.

The school board did not immediately respond to requests for comment but in a statement sent to local media this week it said it won’t participate in the event and will focus on existing workshops it has planned for LGBTQ youth.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

Saskatoon Stars ready to represent province at Canada Winter Games

WATCH: Six players and two coaches from the Saskatoon U18 AAA Stars program will be donning Team Saskatchewan colours in Prince Edward Island, set to compete at the 2023 Canada Winter Games.

As the Saskatoon U18 AAA Stars prepare for their playoff push this month, several players and coaches have another goal on their minds.

In just a few weeks, they’ll be off to the Maritimes to represent Saskatchewan and compete against some of the best young hockey players that Canada has to offer.

That includes Stars forward Avery Bairos, who has found the back of the net more than any other player on her team this season with 21 goals in 25 games at the U18 AAA level.

That scoring touch has been noticed by Hockey Saskatchewan, as the Quinnipiac University commit is one of six Stars heading to Prince Edward Island for the 2023 Canada Winter Games.

“It’s a huge honour for me,” said Bairos. “I’ve worked a lot to make this team and obviously it being in P.E.I. is a super cool place. I’m super excited to just be able to represent my province and go play against some pretty good provinces.”

Joining Bairos on Team Saskatchewan will be Stars blueliner Jocelyn Fiala, forwards Sage Babey, Keyra Buziak and Ireland Stein, as well as Saskatoon captain Megan Hirschfeld.

According to Hirschfeld, it’s a recognition of the work put in both with the Stars and with her Team Saskatchewan tryouts.

“I did work really hard to get on the team,” said Hirschfeld. “It was a tough tryout and there’s lots of strong players in Saskatchewan, so it was definitely hard. But, I’m happy and put in a lot of work.”

This will be Fiala’s second go-around at the provincial level for Team Saskatchewan, leading all defenders on the Stars this season with 17 points in 25 games.

Getting the chance to play with so many teammates out east, Fiala said, will be a special experience facing off against other provincial powers.

“It’s like bringing my team onto a new team and I couldn’t ask for anything better,” said Fiala. “It’s amazing because you can already have friends on the team and then you just create bigger bonds with new people.”

Of the final group of 32 players before Team Saskatchewan’s final cut down, a dozen hailed from the Stars organization which head coach Robin Ulrich said exemplifies the standard of success they strive for year after year.

“It shows a strong program that we’ve put together and a lot of really good players,” said Ulrich. “I’m really excited for the six that have the opportunity and the ones that didn’t go through, maybe a chance opens up down the road.”

Along with the six Stars players tabbed for the Canada Winter Games roster, both Ulrich and assistant coach Kori Herner will also be behind the bench for Team Saskatchewan this month.

“Obviously it’s one of those things in your career as you go along getting the opportunity to work with that group and go to a Canada Games, it’s just a totally different experience,” Ulrich added.

Team Saskatchewan’s first game will come on Feb. 27 in Summerside, P.E.I., as they’ll begin their quest for gold versus Team British Columbia.

Saskatchewan’s final submitted roster of athletes and flag bearer for the 2023 Canada Winter Games will be formally announced in Saskatoon on Feb. 8.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

A decade later, mysterious disappearance of N.S. man remains unsolved

The online edition of Global News Morning with Paul Brothers and Amber Fryday on Global Halifax.

Nova Scotia RCMP say they are continuing to investigate the disappearance of Mark Clarke — 10 years after he went missing.

Saturday will mark a decade since Clarke was last seen in Kentville, N.S., which is about an hour outside of Halifax.

Police said in a release the man, who is from Hillaton, was reported missing on Feb. 4, 2013, after he was last seen at around noon that day – on the corner of Aberdeen and Main streets.

Clarke is described as being a five-foot-10 white man, who weighed about 160 pounds at the time. He had brown hair with long sideburns and a full goatee at the time.

On February 4, 2013, Mark Clarke, who is from Hillaton, was reported missing to the Kings District RCMP.

On February 4, 2013, Mark Clarke, who is from Hillaton, was reported missing to the Kings District RCMP.

Nova Scotia RCMP

“Over the years there have been many sightings of Clarke that proved to be unfounded,” RCMP said in Friday’s release.

“Investigators have obtained numerous statements, conducted ground and aerial searches, and followed up on tips as they have been received.”

Police said they are still hopeful that someone has information on Clarke’s disappearance.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Calgary massage therapist charged with sexual assault

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been updated to improve clarity on discussions held between officials with the university and officials with the provincial government.

A Calgary massage therapist was charged with sexual assault after allegedly assaulting a client in late January.

Police said they responded to a call to Rhema Gold Physiotherapy at 2323 32 Avenue N.E. on Jan. 28. The victim, who was the client of an independent contractor who worked at the clinic, made staff aware of the alleged assault that occurred during a scheduled appointment.

Clinic staff immediately contacted the Calgary Police Service, officers said.

Genesis Cape, 51, of Calgary, was charged with one count of sexual assault and is scheduled to appear in court on March 29.

Police said anyone who has been a victim of sexual assault to contact them at 403-266-1234 no matter when the incident occurred.

“There is no statute of limitations on criminal sexual offences in Canada and we encourage anyone who has been a victim of a serious crime to report it, even if many years have passed since the incident,” a Friday morning release read.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Uber driver and passenger assaulted during ride: Guelph police

A Cambridge woman is facing charges after an apparent assault during a ride in an Uber vehicle.

Guelph Police Service were notified early Friday about the incident.

Investigators say the driver picked up two female passengers around 2:30 a.m. from a business on Silvercreek Parkway South in Guelph.

They say during the ride, one of the women got upset with the other and started punching her in the face.

Investigators say the driver stopped the vehicle and tried to intervene, only to be struck several times in the face causing him to bleed.

They say the suspect then left the vehicle and walked away but was later found and arrested by police.

Investigators say neither victim required medical attention.

They allege the woman provided a false name and phone number, and was in violation of a court order.

She was held for a bail hearing.

 

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

S&P/TSX composite up in late morning trading, U.S. stock markets mixed

TORONTO — Strength in the energy and technology sectors helped Canada’s main stock index climb higher in late-morning trading, while U.S. stock markets were mixed.

The S&P/TSX composite index was up 46.19 points at 20,786.63.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 72.86 points at 34,126.80. The S&P 500 index was down 5.81 points at 4,173.95, while the Nasdaq composite was down 23.04 points at 12,177.78.

The Canadian dollar traded for 74.79 cents US compared with 75.12 cents US on Thursday.

The March crude oil contract was up 23 cents at US$76.11 per barrel and the March natural gas contract was down eight cents at US$2.37 per mmBTU.

The April gold contract was down US$44.20 at US$1,886.60 an ounce and the March copper contract was down a penny at US$4.09 a pound.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 3, 2023.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

Winnipeg man charged with second-degree murder in Point Douglas stabbing

A 25-year-old Winnipeg man is in custody and facing a second-degree murder charge after police found a man with stab wounds bleeding on the ground on Henry Avenue on Thursday.

Police said the victim, who has been identified as Clifford Earl Bos, 56, was found after officers were flagged down around midnight at the intersection of Henry and Martha Street, near the Salvation Army building.

After receiving CPR from officers on-scene, Bos was taken to hospital in critical condition, where he later died.

Police said they found and arrested Joseph Diamond Sanderson at around 4 a.m. on Disraeli Street.

No further arrests are expected, although major crimes investigators continue to look into the incident.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

34 grams of possible fentanyl seized in N.B. after Canada Post investigation

The online edition of Global News Morning with Paul Brothers and Amber Fryday on Global New Brunswick.

Police in Saint John, N.B. say they have seized fentanyl in partnership with Canada Post.

On Jan. 5, Canada Post Postal Inspectors and police say they seized 34 grams of a substance believed to be fentanyl.

According to police, the case was part of an ongoing investigation and investigators believe the drug was to be sold in Saint John.

Fentanyl is an opioid that can be 20 to 40 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine, according to Health Canada. It comes with a high risk of overdose.

Saint John police said no arrests have been made in connection with the seizure as of Friday, but ask anyone with information to reach out.

“Members of the public are encouraged to contact police or Canada Post to report suspicious or illegal activity by mail,” read the release.

 

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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