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War veteran getting treatment for PTSD through computer screen – New Brunswick

RIVERSIDE-ALBERT, NB – A New Brunswick war veteran is getting treatment for Post-Traumatic Street Disorder without having to leave his own home.

Keith Steeves returned from active duty in war-torn Bosnia in 1993. From that point on, his life was crippled by symptoms of PTSD.

“I had some pretty bad nightmares, trouble sleeping, a little bit on anger issues, drinking issues,” Steeves said in an interview with Global News.

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It took over a decade, but Steeves was diagnosed with PTSD and is now getting treatment. But his treatment is coming through a computer screen.

Steeves goes to the Albert County Health and Wellness Centre, dials into a video conference line through Horizon Health’s Telehealth Program, and speaks to his psychiatrist or clinical nurse at the Operational Stress Injury Clinic in Fredericton.

The video conference line is secure, so Steeves can be completely open about his feelings.

“I think it’s great technology.You can sit here in confidence and carry on with your doctor and deal with the issues without having to worry about confidentiality or anything like that,” Steeves said.

Phyllis Hudson is a nurse at the Albert County Health and Wellness Centre and coordinates the program.

“I think it’s been very helpful for Keith, just the convenience of only having to travel 20 minutes versus a two-hour drive to Fredericton has been very convenient for him,” she said.

The Telehealth Program was launched in Riverside-Albert in 2006 and is available for all patients, not just veterans. But the OSI clinic in Fredericton said similar programs are available for veterans across Atlantic Canada, including Halifax.

Now, with a little help from technology, war veterans in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are accessing treatment without having to leave the security of home.

Keith said the treatments are paid off for by Veterans Affairs Canada. But he said he needed to be the one to seek out help himself.

“If you want help I think it’s out there.”

Canadian gamers facing PlayStation 4 price hike, but console remains elusive in stores – National

TORONTO – Canadian gamers looking to get their hands on the latest console from Sony will be facing price hikes at the register – if they manage to find a retail location with stock, that is.

Sony confirmed over the weekend that the price of the recently released PlayStation 4 console would be going up $50 for Canadian consumers, raising the price tag to between CAD$399 and $449.

But the console itself isn’t the only product getting more expensive.

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Sony has also raised the price of the DualShock 4 controller and the PlayStation Camera from CAD$59.99 to $64.99. Two upcoming game releases will also cost Canadians ten dollars more than U.S. gamers.

READ MORE: What the critics are saying about PlayStation 4

When PlayStation 4 was released in Canada in November, the price was on par with the U.S.

Global News asked Sony whether the price changes were in response to the weakening Canadian dollar.

“To respond to changes in the market environment, the price of PlayStation 4 will be revised from CAD $399.99 to $449.99 MSRP, and DUALSHOCK 4/PlayStation Camera will be revised to $64.99 MSRP as of March 15, 2014,” Sony responded in an emailed statement.

“PS4 continues to offer a competitive pricing along with an expansive gaming ecosystem that is centered on gamers. We are extremely grateful for the passion of PlayStation fans and thank them for their continued support.”

Though the price change was to take place over the weekend, Sony’s Canadian website still listed the PlayStation 4 at the previous price of CAD$399.99 Monday. The DualShock controller and PlayStation Camera were also listed at the old prices online.

A screenshot from the Sony Canada website.

READ MORE: Sony investigating PS4 error leaving some users with corrupted files

Other retailers that carry the console, such as Best Buy and Future Shop, show the price with the $50 increase.

Regardless, the console is listed as “sold out” on each website.

The PlayStation 4 has remained hard to get for most consumers since its release.

In December, Global News called a handful of Greater Toronto Area stores to see if there was any chance of getting a PS4 before Christmas. While all stores were sold out at the time, we received mixed opinions as to whether there was a shot at getting one before the New Year.

On Monday Global News called four EB Games locations, four Future Shop locations, and four Best Buy locations around the GTA to see whether stock levels were any better.

In short, the answer is no.

All of the stores said they were sold out of PS4s and did not have an estimate as to when stock would become available.

We then contacted five GTA-based Sony Store locations – all of which were sold out of PS4s.

As of February Sony reported more than 5.3 million PS4 consoles had been sold worldwide.

©2014Shaw Media

Petcetera to file for creditor protection

RICHMOND, B.C. – Pet supply store Petcetera said Monday it plans to file for creditor protection in hopes of restructuring its operations.

The retailer, which has 18 stores across the country, also said it will cut the price on everything in its stores to help generate cash while it files its notice of intention to make a proposal under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.

Petcetera has more than 300 employees in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia.

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The privately held company said it will review all areas of its business, including the number and locations of stores, as part of its restructuring.

The extent of restructuring will directly depend on the success of the inventory liquidation sale, Petcetera said in a statement.

In 2009, Petcetera closed 31 of its stores as part of a restructuring.

“Since the restructuring of the company in 2009 we have made every effort possible to profitably maintain our position in the markets we serve,” Petcetera president and CEO Dan Urbani said.

“Unfortunately, due to the extremely difficult Canadian retail industry and pet supplies segment, this has not been possible and we must now take drastic measures in the short term to ensure that Petcetera is viable in the future.”

Petcetera sells supplies for pet owners as well as offers services including pet hospitals, grooming, obedience school and doggy daycare centres.

Resolve truckers dispute now: B.C. minister

VANCOUVER – British Columbia’s transportation minister says all sides in a truckers’ dispute must resume discussions as ongoing job action affects other sectors across the province.

Todd Stone said Monday that some companies are temporarily laying off staff because they’re no longer receiving goods from the four Port Metro Vancouver container terminals.

He said 142 people at a planer mill in Terrace are out of work until the dispute involving Canada’s largest port is resolved.

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“The stories are coming in fast and furious from communities all across British Columbia,” Stone said, adding the lack of rail cars means ore cannot be shipped from the northeast part of the province, and mining operations are also affected.

Stone said the strike is affecting thousands of jobs beyond the 90,000 that are directly and indirectly involved in the strike that escalated 10 days ago to include both unionized and non-unionized truckers.

B.C. does not have jurisdiction over the federally regulated port, which Stone said typically moves $126 million of cargo every day.

Stone said he would be speaking with his federal counterpart and the infrastructure minister later Monday, when he was also scheduled to talk to a port official.

“The B.C. government believes that the concerns the truckers and other parties, including the port, have thrown on the table are valid,” he said.

“British Columbians, and indeed Canadians, are counting on the federally regulated port and the truckers to get back to the table and to continue to discuss the issues and seek a resolution as soon as possible.”

The estimated 1,400 truckers are on strike over rates, licensing and the long unpaid wait times for cargo at container terminals.

On Sunday, spokespeople for both non-union and unionized truckers said the government was unwilling to negotiate on a 14-point proposal offered to them last week.

The proposal, which is meant to lead to changes in a number of areas, including how truckers are paid, will take some time to fully implement, Stone said Monday.

In the meantime, he said both sides must immediately get back to resolving their issues because the work stoppage is hurting B.C. and Canada’s reputation in Asia.

“It’s doubly frustrating when it’s our economy, the British Columbia economy, that’s on the pointy end of the stick. It’s primarily jobs in British Columbia that are being compromised today.”

The truckers are not directly employed by Port Metro Vancouver, but are typically either independent contractors or sub-contractors working for shipping companies.

Last week, CN Rail obtained a temporary court injunction ordering striking truckers not to interfere with the company’s operations at a container yard in Surrey, southeast of Vancouver.

The company alleged striking truckers blocked or slowed traffic to its facility and in at least one case intimidated a driver.

‘You lie on a daily basis’: Doug Ford accuses Toronto media of bias – Toronto

Watch the video above: Doug Ford accuses the media of bias after a St. Patrick’s Day brunch. 

TORONTO – Doug Ford had it out with reporters again Monday, writing the latest chapter in a long history of the Ford brothers’ feud with Toronto’s media.

The tense few moments happened immediately following a St. Patrick’s Day brunch at the Old Mill Inn as reporters tried to ask questions about a new video of Mayor Rob Ford, filmed Saturday night, shows him swearing outside city hall as he gets into a cab.

Councillor Ford didn’t answer questions about the video, choosing to say only the mayor kept his “political promises” and the “people will decide” on October 27.

He added that the video won’t interfere at all with his re-election.

Doug engaged in a walking scrum during which he criticized the media and accused them of lying. He did not however cite an example of erroneous reporting.

“You guys lie through your teeth. The media lies through its teeth,” he said. “You lie on a daily basis. I could sit there and talk all day.”

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Related

  • Video of Rob Ford allegedly drunk outside of Toronto City Hall surfaces

“Why don’t you guys be honest, that you’re as biased as they come, you don’t like Rob Ford, the media can’t stand him, a lot of people love Rob Ford because he has the city booming,” he said. “Why don’t you guys be honest. Why don’t you look in the mirror, each and every one of you, you’re as biased as they come.”

In February, the Etobicoke councillor confronted Global News reporter Jackson Proskow, accusing him of being “biased” after asking questions about an ongoing police investigation involving his brother, Rob.

Reporters had been asking the councillor on Monday about the video allegedly fed Saturday night and the mayor’s repeated assertions that he had stopped drinking.

The mayor didn’t answer questions, instead wishing everyone a happy St. Patrick’s Day before leaving.

Transport Canada’s safety inspectors lack oversight, evaluation: audit – National

ABOVE: NDP transport critic Hoang Mai wants answers from the federal government following release of internal audit

OTTAWA — Transport Canada has a “number of weaknesses” in its oversight of safety and security inspectors, an internal audit concluded.

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This report is one in a growing number pointing to the department’s troubles with transportation safety oversight, including from the federal auditor general.

“It’s a trend we’ve seen of Transport Canada failing to properly oversee safety investigations and follow up when deficiencies are found,” said NDP transport critic Hoang Mai. “In this case, we see there are no systems in terms of performance assessments or in terms of making sure safety and security inspectors have a framework to ensure they’re not in a conflict of interest.”

According to the Transport Canada-commissioned audit, which appears to have been posted online several weeks ago, the department does not provide enough direction to give inspectors clear objectives — a shortfall that could exacerbate the department’s known weakness in conducting and documenting inspections.

READ MORE: ‘Significant weaknesses’ in Transport Canada’s oversight of rail safety: auditor general

Transport officials are also dropping the ball when it comes to gauging the performance of their safety and security staff, according to the auditors, who examined assessments of a random sample of regional inspectors and managers without being able to find any reference to either “performance gaps” or ”weaknesses.”

The department also lacks a well-developed system for preventing conflict of interests, which auditors said was especially troubling considering “it is acknowledged throughout the department that the inherent risk of [conflict of interest] is high” for inspectors.

“It was found there has been little guidance to date on the [conflict-of-interest] issues that could arise for inspectors, for example opportunities for outside work in companies whose activities are overseen by the department,” the report continued, noting the department has paid little attention to 2005 legislation requiring all federal departments to establish informal conflict resolution systems.

In an emailed statement, Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said she welcomes the findings of the internal audit.

READ MORE: Not enough done to make railways safe for crude oil transport: reports

“Transport Canada has accepted all the recommendations in the report and it working on implementing them,” she wrote.

Though this audit focuses on inspectors for air, road, rail and ship, Auditor General Michael Ferguson in November found the existing frameworks at Transport do not ensure independence and objectivity of rail safety inspectors, specifically.

Ferguson’s office was looking into this because Transport Canada hires many of its rail inspectors and managers from federal railways.

“This is actually quite surprising,” Mai said.  “We know that Transport Canada has transferred a lot of the inspections to the rail companies, and now we realize there’s no one looking into what’s happening in terms of conflict of interest … It’s definitely a concern. How can you be the one who’s going to be applying the rules and also the ones who are benefitting from the lack of imposing the rules?”

READ MORE: Watchdog called for stricter rules in transporting dangerous goods

The department’s response to the audit, posted online late last month, indicates the department is taking steps to address the recommendations in the report.

For example, Transport’s human resources advisors have conducted “values and ethics awareness campaigns,” and communications have gone out to all Transport Canada employees alerting them of requirements concerning conflicts of interest.

Further says it is in the process of implementing a system to help ensure all safety staff is clear on what’s expected of them and the standards they should meet during inspections. Transport Canada has also indicated it will ensure third parties check their inspectors’ work.

The audit was completed in June 2013, and appears to have been posted online several weeks ago. The review was part of the department’s 2012-13 internal audit plan, and examined the management practices supporting Transport Canada’s 1,200 safety and security inspectors and managers.

READ MORE: Transport Canada extended deadlines imposed to address safety weaknesses

About 25 per cent of all of Transport Canada’s employees are safety and security inspectors, operating out of approximately 70 departmental offices.

“The work of these inspectors is vital to the safety and security of Canada’s aviation, rail, marine and transportation of dangerous goods,” the auditors wrote, noting those employees are responsible for determining whether industry is meeting safety standards.

“If these standards are not being met, it is Transport Canada inspectors that assess the companies’ corrective actions plans and decide when the plans can be considered implemented. “

©2014Shaw Media

Engineers confirm concrete spacer was cause of Evergreen Line beam dislodge

A concrete spacer used for Evergreen Line construction around Como Lake Avenue and Clarke Road will not be used anywhere else on the line after a beam dislodged and caused serious traffic issues on Friday.

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  • Como Lake Avenue in Coquitlam reopens after crack in Evergreen Line

  • Problem with Evergreen Line construction shuts major Coquitlam intersection

Amanda Farrell, executive director of the Evergreen Line Project, says engineers have confirmed the failure was due to the concrete spacer, but they don’t know the technical reasons yet why a 300-tonne beam dislodged, shutting down the major commuter route due to fears of concrete falling.

“It’s very unusual,” she said. “But there was no risk…The guideway beam would not have fallen because it was resting on the column.”

The beam was repaired on the weekend and additional braces were put in place, with the road fully reopening Sunday afternoon. The cost of repairing it still unknown, but will be fully repaid by the contractor.

However, a portion of Clarke Road will be closed off sometime in the near future when the beam is repositioned – though Farrell said the date for the was unknown.

©2014Shaw Media

Report card shows homelessness growing in Moncton – New Brunswick

MONCTON – A community development officer says a new report shows homelessness in Moncton is on the rise.

Sue Calhoun with the Greater Moncton Homelessness Steering Committee said numbers from their ‘Report Card on Homelessness’ show that more people used shelters in 2013 than in 2012.

The report card also showed that the wait list for affordable housing in New Brunswick has grown by 58 per cent in the last two years. 

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“Some recent studies are showing that for every individual person who is homeless and uses the shelter, there are another three or four who are part of the hidden homeless,” said Calhoun.

She said many factors have lead to the high numbers, and one of them is people working for low wages.

“They get here and they find out a lot of those jobs are minimum wage jobs that do not pay a living wage,” she said. “They end up unemployed or underemployed.”

The high numbers are no surprise to staff at the Karing Kitchen, a soup kitchen in downtown Moncton.

“There’s just not enough money,” said Phyllis Perry, kitchen supervisor. “The wages aren’t going up, the expenses are going up.”

Shane O’Donnell has been turning to the Karing Kitchen for support because he said he can’t get into subsidized housing.

He is on the wait list, but doesn’t know how long he will have to wait before he can find a home.

“Its just a waiting game right now. If I get it or not, each will result in a different story,” said O’Donnell.

The full report card will be released next Monday.

Manitoba mauling: Which breeds of dog attack, and why?

Every year, one to two human deaths can be associated with dog attacks, according to the Canada Safety Council.

More than 13,000 emergency room visits in Ontario were related to dog attacks in 2011-12, although many still go unreported, the council says.

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  • Manitoba girl mauled to death by dogs

  • 7-year-old girl bitten about 100 times during dog attack in New Zealand

  • Fine for Saskatoon dog owner after letter carrier attacked

According to a report from animalpeoplenews杭州夜网, between 1982 and 2012, Pit bull terriers have been the breed with the most reported attacks at 1,985, resulting in 209 deaths in both the United States and Canada. Alaskan malamutes, the breed involved in the death of a seven-year-old girl in Winnipeg on Mar. 16, has a reported 13 attacks, 11 of those towards children, and five resulting in death.

Navtit Gill, office manager at the Wellesley Animal Hospital, says that fear is often why dogs will attack a human. “It’s not a breed-specific thing,” Gill said. “Alaskan malamutes are considered a high energy dog so sometimes people do just get them for the look and don’t really consider the requirements of the dog.”

Gill  said he can’t speak to the incident in Winnipeg, but noted that, generally speaking, malamutes do make good pets, more so for active people.

“They are a working breed so they are basically bred to do a certain thing,” said Gill. “They’re very smart and highly easy to train, a playful breed and loyal.”

The reasons for attack, says veterinary surgeon Seanna Swayne, can vary. “Some dogs get overly excited when kids are excited and screaming and playing. If the dog hasn’t been exposed to that before, and no one knows what type of reaction is going to happen, that’s when we’ll hear of dog bites accruing. Sometimes they don’t want certain part of their body touched, either, like feet or ears. Its reaction is going to be that it wants to bite or at least warn you.”

Being pack animals, she says, if one dog reacts, more dogs are likely to join in. But in order to determine why an attack happened, a look into how the dog was raised and treated is important to understanding a dog’s reaction and behaviour.

And making sure a dog is fit for a certain owner’s lifestyle is also important in avoiding similar situations, Gill says.

“One of the biggest things that is across the board is a lot of people do choose the wrong breed. Learning [a breed’s] temperaments and knowing what the dog requires are definitely ways to avoid certain situations.”

WATCH: ‘Wife carrying’ competition held in UK – National

Dozens of couples took part in the annual UK Wife Carrying competition in Dorking, UK on this past Sunday.

According to the organizers, the men and women had to run over a 380 meter course, with obstacles, ascents and descents.

Sunday’s race was the seventh such race to be held in the UK and is believed to have its origins from Viking times, organizers say.

According to the event website:

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Wife carrying may have originated in the UK over twelve centuries ago, on 8 June 793AD, when Viking raiders rampaged into Lindisfarne on the northeast coast of what is now England, destroying the monastary and most likely carrying off any unwilling local women. Such wife carrying-off continued intermittently for around 300 years. Wife Carrying was re-introduced into the UK by the UK Wife Carrying Race in 2008, after an absence from these shores of nearly 900 years.

The 7th annual UK Wife Carrying Race was won by Rich Blake Smith, carrying his “wife” Anna (121 pounds), narrowly beating Vytautas Kirkliauskas of Lithuania, carrying his wife (actually his wife) Neringa Kirliauskiene (115 pounds), and covering the 380m course in only 2 minutes in good-to-firm conditions.

All the participants received a mini-keg of Pilgrim real ale as well as a medal and Wife Carrying t-shirt. The winners won a barrel of ale and £250 (over US$ 400) toward competing at the World Wife Carrying Championships in Finland in July.

©2014The Associated Press