Monthly Archives: December 2018

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GTA woman says she is being discharged from hospital early against her wishes

A GTA woman is fighting a decision that would see her discharged from a Toronto rehab facility before the end of the month.

Her family is worried budget concerns are driving the agenda.

Just over a year ago Barbara Butler, 41, was an active mother to two young children, a physiotherapist, and a volunteer in the community. Now she is confined to a wheelchair, after routine surgery for a torn ACL changed everything.

After the surgery her heart failed due to a rare undiagnosed condition, and she’s had cascading health issues.

Left a quadriplegic, she’s been fighting her way back with the help of staff at the Lyndhurst Centre.

“I work very hard here, love it,” said Butler.

She struggled to speak —; one of the things she has been working on —; and her voice has improved dramatically in the last few months.

She’s being discharged October 27, a decision she’s battling.

“I don’t know where I belong, I’m so scared,” said Butler. “Very anxious.”

The Butler family, seen in a photo from an online fundraising page.

gofundme / Global News

ChangSha Night Net


  • Rehabilitation centre helps clients relearn how to walk

  • Exoskeleton suit comes to B.C. to help those rehabilitating

Her husband said they can’t cope at home.

“She needs 24 hour care. She needs to be moved at night, every two or three hours she needs to be turned,” said Chuck Butler, Barbara’s husband.

“I was told we could probably get two hours of personal support worker time.”

They said the only other option is going back to their community hospital —; where they insist staff don’t have the expertise or equipment to give Butler the care she needs.

At the Lyndhurst Centre she gets physio, occupational and speech therapy every weekday. At a regular hospital the family has been told to expect physiotherapy twice a week.

“She needs tons of work to just keep everything moving, to maintain the gains she makes,” said Carla Delange, a physiotherapist and osteopathic manual practitioner who has been treating Butler.

“The more she works, the more she gets better.”

Butler’s family said they were told she could potentially be readmitted to the Lyndhurst Centre once she shows more significant improvements, but without therapy they don’t see how that would happen.

The family believes a tight budget is the real reason Butler is being told she has to leave.

READ MORE: Ontario NDP say budget freeze is forcing hospitals to lay off nurses

“Whatever care she needs to get her well should be given to her,” said her husband.

Lyndhurst Centre refused to allow Global News to talk with Butler on their property. Initially they agreed to an interview about their discharge policies, but later reneged and declined.

Butler said she wants nothing more than to go home, but can’t.

“Not ready yet, to go home, so need to stay here a little longer,” she said, her breath catching in sobs.

The family is hoping for a last minute reprieve.

“Every morning I wake up and before my eyes open, I go ‘OK it was just a dream’, I put my hand over and she’s going to be there,” said Chuck. “Then I wake up and it’s real.”

Chuck even wrote and performed a song about her journey in hopes of convincing hospital staff to reverse their decision.

“I love you, so I need you, please be well soon again. I miss the company, my lover and my friend. Please can it just be again the way it was before, I want you to, I need you to come back to me once more.”

In preparation for her eventual return home they have started a gofundme campaign.


Canadian Thompson comes to terms on $82M contract with Cavaliers

CLEVELAND – Already an elite rebounder, Tristan Thompson snatched a long-term contract from the Cavaliers.

The restricted free-agent forward has agreed in principle with the defending Eastern Conference champions on a five-year, $82 million contract, ending his holdout and giving the Cavs needed frontcourt depth as they enter a new season.

ChangSha Night Net

The team confirmed Wednesday night that it had a verbal agreement with Thompson, who helped the Cavs get to the NBA Finals last season by filling in for an injured Kevin Love. Thompson had been seeking a maximum deal, while the Cavs made it known they valued the former No. 4 overall pick, but weren’t going to overpay for a reserve

The sides had been in an awkward stalemate, which threatened to carry over into the regular season. However agent Rich Paul, who also represents star LeBron James, and Cleveland’s front office were able to come to terms less than a week before the opener at Chicago.

READ MORE: Lamar Odom taken from Vegas hospital to L.A.

There’s a chance the deal will be finalized Thursday and Thompson, who has been working out on his own during the holdout, can begin practicing.

Thompson posted a photo on Instagram wearing a Cavaliers’ baseball cap.

“It’s been a long summer of grinding and hard work but now it’s back to The Land to take care of some unfinished business,” Thompson wrote.

View this post on Instagram

It’s been a long summer of grinding and hard work but now it’s back to The Land to take care of some unfinished business. #HappyToBeBack #ALLin

A post shared by Tristan Thompson (@realtristan13) on Oct 21, 2015 at 4:32pm PDT

With Thompson’s deal and extensions given this summer to James, Love, J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert, owner Dan Gilbert has shelled out nearly $300 million in guaranteed money during the off-season.

Thompson will be among the league’s highest-paid power forwards.

When Thompson declined to sign a one-year, $6.9 million qualifying offer from the team last month, it appeared he might be willing to sit out part of the regular season. James had called Thompson’s holdout a “distraction” and the impasse over the contract threatened to sidetrack the Cavs from getting back to the Finals.

But now Thompson will back up Love and provide his usual energy for Cleveland’s second unit.

Thompson came through in the playoffs after Love dislocated his left shoulder in the first round. The affable 24-year-old averaged 9.6 points and 10.8 rebounds in the post-season. He averaged 8.5 points and 8.0 rebounds in the regular season.

Cleveland chose Thompson three selections after drafting Kyrie Irving with the first overall pick in 2011.


Best before dates lead to waste by consumers

Consumers are throwing away thousands of dollars and kilograms of food each year simply because they misunderstand what the best before date actually means.

A 2013 study from Harvard Law School and the Natural Resources Defense Council concluded that the dates printed on packaged foods serve to confuse consumers, leading them to trash their food and money.

ChangSha Night Net


  • Food waste at record levels as other Canadians go hungry

Food waste costs the Canadian economy an estimated $31 billion a year. Much of that waste starts with consumers tossing out food that’s still good to eat.

Lindsay Coulter, known as the “Queen of Green” of the David Suzuki Foundation, says “about a third of all the food produced in the world” is wasted. She attributes a vast majority of that waste to consumers believing the best before date means food has gone “bad that day.”

“It’s challenging for consumers,” said food scientist Dr. Gary Sandberg.

People commonly mistake the best before dates as an expiration date, he adds, but the two labels tell consumers very different things.

WATCH: Professor, Keith Warriner, food scientist from University of Guelph’s department of food science, explains best before dates and food labels.

READ MORE: Food waste at record levels as other Canadians go hungry

What is a best before date?

Best before dates relate to “food quality,” explains Sandberg, who says the label has nothing to do with “food safety.” They are printed on products with a shelf life of 90 days or less.

If you open up your fridge and find a container of yogurt with a best before date that has passed, don’t be so quick to toss it out. If it has been stored properly and is unopened, Sandberg, says it’s still safe to eat. Those best before dates display peak flavour. Once the date has passed, he says, the food may lose some of its freshness and flavour. Once opened, the food’s shelf life may also change.

“As long as it’s sitting in the package, then it is not going to be a food safety risk, it’s going to be more of a loss of quality.”

Sanbderg says the best before date is no longer valid if a package is opened or if the food is frozen. If a food is properly frozen two days before its best before date, it should be edible for another two days from the start of the thawing process.

“As soon as you open a package then of course it becomes exposed to the environment. Then it can become contaminated with virtually anything,” he said.

What is an expiration date?

Expiration dates, however, tell consumers the last day a product is safe to consume. These foods are clearly marked with “EXP” or “Expiry.” After that date has passed, throw it out as the manufacturers cannot guarantee that the food’s nutritional composition remains stable.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency outlines only five types of products that need to have the expiration date label:

· Baby formula and other human milk substitutes
· Nutritional supplements
· Meal replacements
· Pharmacist-sold foods for very low-energy diets
· Formulated liquid diets

Canned food items

What may come as more of a shock to consumers, canned items don’t need to have a best before date at all. Canned items, as long as they are intact and stored in a moderate temperature, have an almost indefinite shelf life, but there may be a change in quality and texture.

The numbers imprinted on the top or bottom of the can, represent a manufacturing code used to track the product. The code designates the date the product was packaged.

“In most cases a can will have a warranty of two years,” says Sandberg. “After that two-year period no one is going to guarantee that the can is going to stay together.”

Sandberg advises not to purchase any cans that are bulging or leaking as these are not safe to consume.

How much longer will food last after the best before date?

A non-profit supermarket in Boston sells outdated food. Daily Table, which opened in June 2015, sells food that would have otherwise been thrown away at an affordable price. In Canada, Quest Food Exchange sells food that is close to or past its best before date at affordable prices. Quest offers food from every branch of the local food industry that might otherwise go to waste. The company follows “the Durable Life Information on Food Products fact sheet and the Acts and Regulations administered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

This is how long some foods can last past the best before date:

Sandberg says don’t throw out your common sense because ultimately “if it looks bad, if it smells bad, chances are it is.”

He also recommends having your refrigerator 1-2 degrees Celsius colder (not below freezing) because it could extend the shelf life of most products, for milk, for example by 50 per cent. He says if you keep the milk at the back for the fridge, you will likely gain an additional one to two days. If you have questions about your eggs, Sandberg suggests the “float test.” If the egg floats (due to gas production inside) it has gone bad; if it sinks, it’s safe to consume.

Health Canada does not recommend eating anything after the best before date. The Canada Food Inspection Agency states you can buy and eat foods after the best before date has passed. Generally, if the food changes colour or appearance, or develops a bad smell, it is no longer safe to eat.

©2015Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Ghosts of his father’s energy program haunt Trudeau in Alberta

CALGARY – Justin Trudeau’s Liberal victory is raising concerns for many in Calgary’s oilpatch: they worry his energy policies will mimic his father’s.

Pierre Trudeau alienated Western Canada and made his party a political pariah in Alberta when he implemented the national energy program (NEP) in the early 1980s.

As the energy industry continues to struggle, companies are in no mood for governmental surprises, says Phil Roberts of Vintri Technologies.

ChangSha Night Net

“I would say most people are looking for certainty, and these are very uncertain times,” he said.

Some Calgarians have never forgotten the elder Trudeau’s NEP, which caused massive economic damage in the oilpatch.

Soft oil prices in 2015 are causing their own economic hardship in Calgary.

“Our rig fleet is hovering around 185 rigs, active rigs, in Western Canada,” said Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors president Mark Scholz. “Those statistics are very similar to what we saw in about 1983, so we are experiencing an economic environment very much like what we saw back in the 80s.”

READ MORE: Justin Trudeau has ties to energy-conscious Western Canada his father didn’t, says Goodale

In 1980 oil prices were at an historic high for the time at over $30 a barrel, people were moving to Calgary in large numbers looking for jobs, real estate prices skyrocketed—but all of that crashed as the city was plunged into a recession.

Former investment advisor Peter Linder says times are different today: Calgary’s economy is more diversified and stable, and recessions don’t run as deep. But he warns misguided Liberal policies could still cause pain in the city.

“The father made it so bad, so I don’t think the son is going to follow the father’s footsteps,” he said. “Having said that, it’s going to get worse with the Liberals in power versus the Conservatives in power.”

Calgary Centre’s newly elected Liberal MP Kent Hehr, who eked out a close win against Tory incumbent Joanne Crockatt, says Calgarians shouldn’t fear the return of the NEP.

“NEP 2.0 is not going to happen,” said Hehr.

“Go to sleep tonight; relax. We are going to govern in the best interest of this great nation and a large part of that is the future of Calgary, the future of the oil industry, and how it plays a role in lifting all.”

Trudeau will swear in his new cabinet, including Canada’s new energy minister, Nov. 4.

READ MORE: Selecting cabinet one of first orders of business for Trudeau

With files from Erika Tucker


‘Dear Justin Trudeau’: B.C. woman’s top 10 list to new PM goes viral

Justin Trudeau will soon become Canada’s next Prime Minister.

While the news now turns to what he promised before election day, one B.C. woman’s letter to the Prime Minister-designate has gone viral on Facebook.

WATCH: Tom Clark weighs in on what Justin Trudeau’s first steps may be as prime minister

Cassandra Fletcher describes herself as “an average west coast, middle class mom voter.” And she admits that while she did vote Liberal, she did not vote for Trudeau. She voted “against the alternative.”

Fletcher writes on Facebook that when she voted on Monday, she felt like she was gambling her life away. “How many millions of us gambled today on whatever bet would be ‘not harper’?” she asks.

ChangSha Night Net

My country’s electoral system throws away all votes that don’t “win”. This last election’s votes meant two thirds of us weren’t represented at all. That’s crazy! I need you to know that even though I put my X next to your name, I did not vote for you. I voted against the alternative. And so with this knowledge, and knowing millions of other Canadians just made the same decision out of pure rage and fear, I hope you can do a few things in your newfound position.

Fletcher has written Trudeau a top 10 list that has now been shared more than 27,000 times.

READ MORE: Vancouver woman’s Facebook letter to Stephen Harper goes viral

Here is her top 10 list:

    Get real about your win.Change our electoral system.Rebuild Canada’s name on the world stage.Please don’t be bought.Protect our rare and natural resources and don’t get caught in the jargon.Related to #5 above, but worthy of its own number… please create fair subsidy practices.Support science.Support an unbiased public information forum.Listen and communicate in real ways – no political mumbo jumbo say-nothing jibberjabber.Bill C-51.

Read the full letter below:

Hey Justin. I’m Casandra, and I’m an average west coast, middle class mom voter. You and I are the same age. I have so much to learn in terms of diplomacy and leadership, and so I’m guessing you acknowledge this in yourself too. This is going to be quite the ride for you and I.

I have a pit in my stomach because I just stood behind a cardboard box with a lump in my throat, feeling like I was gambling my life away. I think that’s the seed of what’s churning in my belly… in a democracy, why do I feel like I have to “play my cards” when I vote? How many millions of us gambled today on whatever bet would be “not harper”?

My country’s electoral system throws away all votes that don’t “win”. This last election’s votes meant two thirds of us weren’t represented at all. That’s crazy! I need you to know that even though I put my X next to your name, I did not vote for you. I voted against the alternative. And so with this knowledge, and knowing millions of other Canadians just made the same decision out of pure rage and fear, I hope you can do a few things in your newfound position. Since the internet loves “Top Ten!” lists, here’s mine for you:

1. Get real about your win. Accept it with humility and modesty, and treat your fellow left politicians with respect and gratitude, for it is THEIR supporters who got you here with your sweeping majority, and not your own.

2. Change our electoral system. Be brave enough to see the big picture and not just for whom our voting system will immediately benefit. Be strong enough to face those that disagree or may lose their roles because a better system is needed for the health of our country. Be the one to recreate what democracy is in Canada. You have the chance to make history for your Trudeau name (round two), and what a magical gift that is… to have the ability to create a legacy.

3. Rebuild Canada’s name on the world stage. I was once proud to sew my flag on my backpack. Now, I’m ashamed of my country. We can become peacekeepers again. We can be examples to the world of how we educate our youth, support our vulnerable people, and protect our mountain streams. We can disagree with the United States, and we don’t have to be business partners with countries that commit horrific crimes against humanity. We can be a world leader in more ways than one.

4. Please don’t be bought. Your rewards for strength of character, your ethics, and being a true voice for Canada’s people today and 100 years from now will bring you far greater reward. Turn your back to those companies and lobbyists that think they can buy you (and Canada) in exchange for decisions that financially reward a few today and hurt people for generations.

5. Protect our rare and natural resources and don’t get caught in the jargon. Climate Change, global warming, carbon emissions… the jargon is divisive. There are certain decisions that clearly DO destroy this blue planet upon which we survive, and those that don’t. I recognize the harvesting of our forests, minerals, metals and oil bring jobs and money to our country, but consider moderation, balance, and sustainable practices, instead of debating the validity of the “climate change” phrase.

6. Related to #5 above, but worthy of its own number… please create fair subsidy practices. Either stop subsidizing oil, or start subsidizing energy alternatives. Refer to #4.

7. Support science. Rebuild our libraries and the information learned from thousands of reputable, skilled scientists over decades in Canada. Support a system to archive this information rather than destroy it.

8. Support an unbiased public information forum. Maybe this is the CBC. Maybe not. But probably… yes… the CBC. I’m guessing a truly democratic country thrives on the sharing of information that is non-partisan, non-religious, non-corporate, for the benefit of having an educated, engaged populace. Refer to #4.

9. Listen and communicate in real ways – no political mumbo jumbo say-nothing jibberjabber. We’re all just people, and we all deserve to be spoken to with honesty and respect, even if it’s not decisions we agree with. We’re talking inclusion, veterans, aboriginal women, veterans, jobs, refugees, pot, the justice system, the TPP, pipelines, healthcare, the senate and government corruption. And it doesn’t stop there. Good luck, but a good start is always good communication.

10. Bill C-51. Fix that thing. That’s like a bad sci-fi movie happening in real life. I can’t believe you voted for that in the first place. Refer to #3.

Thanks for your consideration.

Fletcher says she is both surprised and not surprised her letter has got this much attention.

“I know nothing I’ve said is unique to me, and I knew I was writing what I had heard everyone around me talking about all summer,” she said in a written interview. “In that, I guess I knew there was the potential for it to get shared as it resonated with certain people. This viral though? Yes, this surprises me.”