Monthly Archives: April 2019

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Connor McDavid scores as Oilers win third straight with victory over Red Wings

EDMONTON – One week has made a major difference on the outlook of the Edmonton Oilers.

Connor McDavid and Teddy Purcell scored in the second period as the Oilers won their third straight with a 3-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night.

Mark Letestu opened the scoring for the Oilers (3-4-0) in the first while Nail Yakupov added a pair of assists. Edmonton snapped an eight-game losing streak against Detroit with the win.

ChangSha Night Net

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“It was a good win,” said Oilers head coach Todd McLellan. “It is one that we will bank and be proud of, but there are still areas of our game where we have to get better. We’re going to be saying that in February. We need to keep plugging away.”

Edmonton’s streak includes wins over Detroit, the Calgary Flames and the Vancouver Canucks — teams they lost all 12 combined games to last season.

“Game by game we are getting better as a team,” said Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot, who made 28 saves. “To come up with some timely goals and Anders (Nilsson) and I have been able to come up with some big saves, it is all coming together pretty quick here like we were hoping. Hopefully we can keep it going.”

Tomas Tatar found the back of the net for Detroit (3-3-0), which lost its third in a row.

“It was better than the last game, I think we battled harder and won some more battles,” said Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg. “We created a little more offence. Obviously those two quick goals hurt us. They’re pretty deadly when they get the chances.”

“We had two huge blowups and you can’t win with big blowups,” added Detroit head coach Jeff Blashill.

Edmonton went up 2-0 at 6:34 of the second period as Benoit Pouliot sent McDavid in on a breakaway and he beat Mrazek with a highlight-reel deke to score his fourth goal of the season.

The Oilers extended the lead just 30 seconds later as the rebound from a Purcell shot went off Detroit defenceman Kyle Quincey and into the Red Wings net.

Letestu helped the Oilers get on the board with a power-play goal at 12:32 of the first period. Yakupov made a perfect feed in front of the net and Letestu was able to direct the puck past Red Wings goaltender Petr Mrazek. It was Letestu’s first goal in an Edmonton uniform.

The Oilers had 11 first period shots to Detroit’s five on Talbot, who made a couple of huge glove saves on a late Red Wings power play.

Detroit cut into the lead seven minutes into the third as Tatar scored on a backhand shot off a rebound.

Both teams return to action on Friday as the Oilers play the second game of a three-game homestand against the Washington Capitals. The Red Wings travel to Calgary to face the Flames.

©2015

Family raises questions about MCFD probe into teen’s death

Fifteen-year-old Nick Lang was found dead in a closet with a shoelace around his neck just six days after being placed in the care of the Ministry of Children and Family Development, says his father.

It was supposed to be temporary as the teen was getting help for a methamphetamine addiction. The ministry announced an independent review, but Global News has learned that review is being conducted by a former MCFD employee.

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“The man that did the review was definitely a nice man but once that report leaves his hands, who knows what’s going to happen to it?” said father Peter Lang.

“Our concern is when it’s a former employee, they may be pressured to change their report in order to make them look better and perhaps make the parents look worse.”

The former government worker contracted out by the ministry is Stephen Howell, who now works as an instructor in the Criminal Justice Department at Victoria’s Camosun College. According to a freedom of information request, a person with the same name was awarded a $9,000 contract to do a “case review” on June 17, 2015, eight days after Lang died.

READ MORE: ‘I’m just telling Nick’s story’: Grieving father responds to letter from MCFD

In an email, Howell said he is “unable to comment on this matter. Please direct your questions to MCFD.”

“The family doesn’t believe they’re going to get justice in this case,” said B.C. NDP leader John Horgan. “The ministry should respond accordingly and find someone that is arm’s length from the government.”

A spokesperson said Minister Stephanie Cadieux was busy, so she couldn’t comment on camera. The only question the government would answer is that Howell was contracted to do an “external review.”

Lang’s father still has no idea when he’ll receive that report.

“We’ve always maintained from the beginning there needs to be a public inquiry, not just into my son’s death, but also into other children that have died in care. There seems to be an epidemic in this province.”

-With files from Rumina Daya

©2015

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley shakes up cabinet, creates new ministry

EDMONTON – Alberta Premier Rachel Notley shuffled her cabinet on Thursday morning, and signalled her government wants to focus on economic diversification and job growth by creating a new ministry.

Scroll down for a full list

One cabinet member switched ministries, another had their responsibilities adjusted and a third MLA was called up from the backbenches.

Danielle Larivee, MLA for Lesser Slave Lake, was sworn in as minister of municipal affairs and the minister of service Alberta on Thursday morning.

WATCH: MLA Danielle Larivee talks about Alberta cabinet appointment

Larivee took over the portfolio from MLA Deron Bilous, who was moved to the newly-created economic development and trade ministry. Bilous represents Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview.

WATCH: Alberta MLA Deron Bilous talks about new portfolio

MLA Lori Sigurdson’s role changed on Thursday. She had been the minister of innovation and advanced education. While she remains in charge of the advanced education ministry, the innovation file has been moved to Bilous’ new economic development portfolio. Sigurdson also continues to head the ministry of jobs, skills, training and labour.

In a news conference, Notley said the cabinet changes were aimed at job creators and business innovators.

The province said the new economic development and trade ministry will bring under one umbrella work that is currently spread between several departments.

ChangSha Night Net

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Notley and 11 cabinet ministers were sworn in on the steps of the Alberta Legislature on May 24, 19 days after the NDP ended 44 years of PC reign in Alberta by winning a majority in the May 5 election. Thursday’s mini-shuffle expands Notley’s cabinet by one.

READ MORE: Who is in Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s cabinet?

The new session of the legislature resumes Monday. The NDP will table its first budget Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the finance minister announced the budget would not be balanced until the 2019-2020 fiscal year, one year later than Notley promised during the election.

WATCH: Premier Rachel Notley is expected to announce changes to her cabinet on Thursday morning. Jenna Freeman reports.

A list of the cabinet in order of precedence:

Rachel Notley: Premier, president of executive council
Brian Mason: Government house leader, minister of infrastructure, minister of transportation
David Eggen: Education; culture and tourism
Deron Bilous: Economic development and trade; deputy government house leader
Joe Ceci: President of treasury board; finance
Marg McCuaig-Boyd: Energy
Sarah Hoffman: Health and seniors
Kathleen Ganley: Justice and solicitor general; aboriginal relations
Lori Sigurdson: Advanced education; jobs, skills, training and labour
Oneil Carlier: Agriculture and forestry
Shannon Phillips: Environment and parks; responsible for status of women; deputy government house leader
Irfan Sabir: Human services
Danielle Larivee: Municipal affairs; Service Alberta

With files from

©2015

Murphy homers again, Mets sweep Cubs to reach World Series

CHICAGO – One final, charmed swing by Daniel Murphy, and the New York Mets finished a playoff sweep of the Chicago Cubs.

A new generation of Amazins is heading to the World Series.

Murphy homered for a record sixth consecutive post-season game, and the Mets brushed aside the Cubs 8-3 Wednesday night, capping a National League Championship Series in which New York never trailed.

“I can’t explain it. It’s such a blessing to contribute to what we’ve been able to do,” he said.

Lucas Duda hit a three-run homer in the first inning and a two-run double in the second at Wrigley Field, silencing a crowd of 42,227 desperately hoping for the beginning of an epic comeback in Game 4.

WATCH: Joe Maddon says he’s happy Terry Collins headed to World Series

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READ MORE: Blue Jays crown Royals, stave off elimination

Not this time. Not with New York’s array of power arms, and Murphy swinging a hot stick that made him the NLCS MVP.

Manager Terry Collins’ team advanced to the World Series for the first time since the Mets lost to the crosstown Yankees in five games in 2000. They will play at either Toronto or Kansas City in Game 1 on Tuesday night – the Royals lead 3-2 in the ALCS.

But the first big question for New York is the health of centre fielder Yoenis Cespedes, who left in the second inning with soreness in his left shoulder. Any health issue for the slugger could be a big factor in the next round.

The Cubs, meanwhile, still haven’t won the crown since 1908. Manager Joe Maddon’s wild-card bunch surged into this series, but was overmatched.

“They didn’t give us – they did not let us up for air at any point,” Maddon said. “Their domination of the early part of the game and their pitching was impressive.”

When Dexter Fowler looked at a called third strike for the final out, Jeurys Familia dropped to his knees in front of the mound and then hopped up for a hug from catcher Travis d’Arnaud. They were soon joined by the rest of their jubilant teammates in the infield grass.

WATCH: Jays stay alive

A small, but vocal group of New York fans behind the visiting dugout then chanted “Let’s go, Mets! Let’s go, Mets!” Long after the team had moved its celebration to the cramped visiting clubhouse at Wrigley, the fans continued with chants of “Four more wins! Four more wins!”

By wrapping it up fast, the Mets can now set up their imposing rotation how they want for the World Series. Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard will all be on full rest, and then some.

Right when it looked as if his historic streak was coming to an end, Murphy connected for a two-run drive to centre against Fernando Rodney in the eighth inning. The second baseman raised his right arm as he rounded first after his seventh homer of the playoffs – the string includes a shot in the deciding Game 5 of the Division Series at Dodger Stadium last week.

Murphy, who was tied with Carlos Beltran for the post-season homer streak, finished with four hits and batted .529 (9 for 17) in the series.

Duda doubled twice and d’Arnaud also homered as the Mets won their fifth pennant. Bartolo Colon pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings for his first playoff win since 2001, for Cleveland at Seattle. The 14 years, 12 days between postseason victories for the 42-year-old right-hander snapped the major league record of exactly 14 years for Milt Wilcox, according to STATS.

Colon, who made 31 starts this season, replaced rookie Steven Matz with two out in the fifth and runners on first and second. He struck out Kris Bryant swinging on a 3-2 pitch, preserving New York’s 6-1 lead.

Bryant hit a two-run homer in the eighth, but it was way too late for Chicago in its first appearance in the NLCS in 12 years. The Cubs shut out Pittsburgh in the wild-card game and eliminated rival St. Louis in the division series, but were unable to mount much of a challenge against the Mets’ talented pitching staff.

The Cubs also loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth, and only came away with one run on Kyle Schwarber’s grounder to first. Starlin Castro lined right to third baseman David Wright on a hard smash for the first out.

While the Mets’ pitching dominated much of the series, it was clear the Cubs were in trouble after aces Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta dropped the first two games in New York. Kyle Hendricks lasted just four innings on Tuesday night, and Jason Hammel was even worse in Game 4.

With two out and a runner on in the first, Hammel walked Yoenis Cespedes before Duda hit a long drive to centre for his first playoff homer. D’Arnaud followed with a shot to right for the Mets’ second set of consecutive homers in playoff history, joining Darryl Strawberry and Kevin McReynolds in Game 4 of the 1988 NLCS against Los Angeles.

Hammel was replaced by Travis Wood after a one-out walk in the second, and Duda drove home two more runs with a double into the gap in right-centre. Duda was just 3 for 24 in the playoffs coming into the night.

HOMER HAPPY

The Mets have hit a franchise-record 14 homers in the playoffs. The previous team mark was 12 in 1969, the Amazin’ Mets won the World Series.

NLCS WOES

The Cubs dropped to 6-15 in the NLCS for the lowest winning percentage for a major league team in the league championship series.

©2015

New detection system aims to reduce roadkill on B.C. highways

A stretch of Highway 3 is said to be one of the most dangerous roadways in B.C. Collisions between vehicles and wildlife happen so often just about everyone in the town of Sparwood has a story.

That’s one of the reasons the highway is part of a new pilot project that aims to reduce roadkill.

Ministry of Transportation statistics say 5,500 carcasses are pulled off of B.C. roads each year. ICBC says about 10,000 collisions involving animals are reported each year, but experts believe the actual number of animals fatalities is much higher.

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Gayle Hesse of the Wildlife Collision Prevention Program says those statistics fail to include “over 18,000 animals that are hit and killed by vehicles, but who move away from the road.”

“Those numbers need be added into the official total. That comes to over 24,300 that are killed on B.C. highways every year.”

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure plans to install a new detection system in two locations on Highway 3–one east of Sparwood and another east of Elko–in an effort to reduce roadkill. The sensors will spot large animals near the highway and trigger a warning to drivers to slow down.

“This initial pilot program carries a cost of about $2.5 million,” said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone. “The technology is not inexpensive, but it is in use in other parts of the world and where it is in use we have seen a direct correlation between the use of this technology and a subsequent reduction in the number of collisions.”

The system will be up and running this fall. If it works it will be added to high-risk stretches of highway across the province. When used in conjunction with animal corridors and fencing, it could save millions of dollars in insurance claims and save lives in the process.

-With files from Aaron McArthur

©2015