Court told Australian carpenter has $596 million in the bank

When an Australian man was pulled over by police, they clearly had no idea what can of worms they were opening.

Phillip Johnathan Harrison, a bricklayer and carpenter, was driving a high-end sports car when police pulled him over. Inside, they found 12 grams of ice (a methamphetamine), Viagra and ecstasy, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

But that wasn’t where the story got weird.

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The 29-year-old Gold Coast native told police that he was worth $12 billion and later told his lawyer the government had supplied him with the Audi sports car.

Public defender Nick Hanly said Harrison told him that he had netted the money over the past year but couldn’t say where it had come from.

“He said he wasn’t at liberty to say,” Hanly told the court at Harrison’s bail hearing. “At this point, I was considering getting mental health to come in.”

Harrison then allowed Hanly access to his bank accounts which showed a cash balance of $596 million (AUD) and a real estate portfolio of $1.56 billion, according to the Australian.

If it were true, Harrison would be one of the 50 richest people in Australia.

“I would not have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes,” Hanly told the court.

Harrison was granted bail at the hearing, and afterwards, he refuted his lawyer’s claims over how much property he owned.

“My lawyer was delusional, I told him not to say it, duty solicitor not very good,” he said to ABC.

“I just have to have a bit of a think about what the hell’s gone on here. A lot of wrong has been done here, that’s for sure.”

“I didn’t lie about that. It’s $1.2 million in land, the rest in shares, ASX. I own the ASX 200, I’m in control of it,” Harrison said. The ASX 200 is an Australian stock exchange.

Harrison said he had no idea whether the bank totals were correct.

“It’s the banks that do all the adding up, I don’t really know,” he said.

Harrison denied that he made his money as a drug dealer but rather, he made it on stocks.

“How would I make billions in drugs without being caught? My investments, my ideas in cars, apps, trade, I sold them overseas, have been for years,” Harrison said.

Western Canadian Sledge Hockey Tournament takes over Calgary’s Olympic Park

CALGARY- The Western Canadian Sledge Hockey Challenge is under way this Easter weekend. The paralympic sporting event is the largest tournament of its kind in western Canada.

The Calgary Sledge Hockey Association was formed four years ago to give people living with disabilities the opportunity to play the sport.

According to the organization, only three per cent of children with a disability are currently participating in sport.

President of the Calgary Sledge Hockey Association, Dominic Shaw, said the opportunity helps participants succeed down the road.

“It’s not just physical; it’s social. You’re going to make friends with similar disabilities.”

“We’ve seen a lot of younger players develop over the years,” Shaw said. “They go on to great jobs, great schools. They just gain that self confidence.”

WATCH: Global’s Brendan Parker tries sledge hockey

More than 180 players from across western Canada will take part at the weekend tournament at WinSport Winter Sport Institute at Canada Olympic Park.

All funds raised go directly to the organization to pay for ice time and equipment costs.

Click here to find out more about the programs.

Seventy-five exhibitors are also taking part in the Community and Recreation Expo, which runs until 6 p.m. Saturday.

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Chase Martens’ body found after 5 days, no sign of foul play: Manitoba RCMP

AUSTIN, Man. —; The search for two-year-old Chase Martens has ended tragically.

“Earlier today a family, a community and a province’s worst nightmare became a reality,” RCMP Sgt. Bert Paquet said Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

RELATED: Timeline of missing Manitoba boy Chase Martens

Martens was last seen Tuesday night in the front yard of his family’s home in Austin, Man. His body was found in a creek about half a kilometre south of the home at 1 p.m. on Saturday, five days later. RCMP say there’s no sign of foul play.

RCMP first announced on 桑拿会所 at 2:45 p.m. that Chase Martens’ body was found.

“This appears to be exactly what we thought it was, a tragedy,” Paquet said

On Saturday, RCMP announced that they found the body of Chase Martens, who went missing 5 days earlier.

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His body was found by a group of Winnipeg volunteers. Paquet thanked everyone who helped spread word of the search over social media and all of the volunteers who came out to help.

“I would estimate about 30,000 volunteer hours were donated this week. Majority of them people who were total strangers to the Martens family.”

WATCH: Global’s Skyview-1 helicopter over the search on Wednesday and Thursday

RAW: Global’s Skyview-1 over the search for Chase Martens on Wednesday

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RAW: Global’s Skyview-1 over the search for Chase Martens on Wednesday

01:38

RAW: Global’s Skyview-1 over the search for Chase Martens on Thursday



“There’s no obvious signs of foul play but we need to, we owe it to the family, to the province to exercise due diligence,” Paquet said.

RCMP, along with hundreds of volunteers, scoured fields, bushes and waterways around the home for days before his body was found. The mounties thanked the volunteers for all their help over the past week.

The autopsy is expected to be done Sunday.

WATCH: Parents of Chase Martens made an emotional plea Thursday

Police were also using drones to help with the search, and they had recently began focusing search efforts on nearby bodies of water.

RELATED: How police are using drones in the search for Chase Martens and other missing people

Austin is about 120 kilometres west of Winnipeg.

PHOTO GALLERY: Hundreds came out to help search for two-year-old Chase Martens

Searchers walk in a line near where two-year-old Chase Martens went missing.

Global News

Members of the canine unit out searching for missing two -year-old Chase Martens.

Global News

The line of searchers scouring the area near Austin, Manitoba where two-year-old Chase Martens went missing.

Global News

Vehicles lined up as searcher tried to find two-year-old Chase Martens.

Jeremy Desrochers / Global News

RCMP canine unit searching Hwy. 1 near Hwy. 34 for two-year-old Chase Martens.

Lorraine Nickel / Global News

RCMP update media about the search for missing two-year-old Chase Martens in Austin, Manitoba on March 23.

Jeremy Desrochers / Global News

The command centre set up at the home where two-year-old Chase Martens went missing.

Global News

Searchers use quads to help look for Chase Martens Friday afternoon near Austin, Man.

Global News

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Soldier’s shooting of Palestinian sets off uproar in Israel

JERUSALEM – Amateur video appearing to show an Israeli soldier killing an already wounded Palestinian sparked uproar in Israel on Sunday, reflecting the deep divisions in the country following six months of violence.

As the Israeli military pressed on with an investigation, nationalistic politicians accused the army of abandoning the soldier, while political doves bemoaned the erosion of the nation’s morals. Palestinians, meanwhile, said the shooting proved their claims that Israel is guilty of using excessive force and carrying out extrajudicial killings.

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The shooting took place last Thursday in Hebron, the volatile West Bank city that has been a focal point of the latest wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence. The military said two Palestinians stabbed and wounded an Israeli soldier before troops shot and killed the pair.

READ MORE: US condemns Israel expanding boundary of settlement bloc in the West Bank

In a video released by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, one of the attackers appears to still be alive after the initial shooting. The video, taken by a Palestinian volunteer for the group, shows the wounded attacker lying on the ground, slowly moving his head. About a minute later, a soldier raises his rifle, cocks the weapon and fires. Blood is then seen streaming from the Palestinian’s head.

The Israeli military quickly arrested the soldier and opened an investigation into what it said appeared to be a “grave breach” of its values. A military court has ordered the soldier to remain held until Tuesday while the investigation continues.

Military officials also have cast doubt on the soldier’s claim that he believed the Palestinian was carrying explosives.

On Sunday night, B’Tselem released a second video it says shows the same soldier at the scene shaking hands with Baruch Marzel, a well-known ultranationalist, after the shooting.

Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a military spokesman, said a preliminary investigation found the soldier arrived on the scene some six minutes after the initial incident, and that the second shooting occurred several minutes after that. “There was no apparent threat from the Palestinian that was incapacitated,” Lerner said.

READ MORE: Kerry’s ‘one state’ comments cause consternation in Israel

He said that commanders had already reported the shooting to their superiors before the video emerged. “There was already a military police investigation. We already knew the behaviour was not in line with the code of conduct and ethics,” he said.

The Israeli media, citing military officials, quoted the soldier as saying the Palestinian “deserved to die.”

Lerner said three officers at the scene were reprimanded for not giving medical attention to the wounded Palestinian, as is required under military policy.

The sister of the soldier, who was not identified, accused the military of publicly convicting her brother, and several nationalistic lawmakers came to his defence, accusing detractors of abandoning him before he was given a fair hearing.

“Have we lost our minds? We’re at war. War against vicious terrorism,” said Naftali Bennett, leader of the hardline Jewish Home party. He said the shooting should be investigated, but criticized politicians and the media for rushing to condemn the soldier.

Avigdor Lieberman, leader of the right-wing opposition party Yisrael Beitenu, asked to meet the soldier in prison and accused the prime minister of looking for the support of the “bleeding hearts.”

WATCH: Israeli officer filmed overturning Palestinian’s wheelchair

Over the weekend, hundreds of people protested in support of the soldier outside the prison, and posters surfaced denouncing his critics, including the military chief and defence minister.

In a Facebook post, Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon accused unnamed politicians of “a campaign of incitement” against the military leadership. “The sane elements in Israel, on the right and the left, must unite against this evil wind and stop it,” he said.

Sima Kadmon, a commentator for the Yediot Ahronot daily, criticized the social media posts defending the soldier, and also lashed out at the apparent apathy shown by soldiers in the video after the Palestinian was shot.

But she said “the most troubling thing is the politicians who rushed to the defence of the shooter, even though top military officials, who are far more familiar with the circumstances of the incident and the findings of the inquiry, have called this for what it is: murder.”

Addressing his Cabinet on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the shooting was not reflective of the military’s conduct and rejected criticism of the armed forces’ morals as “outrageous and unacceptable.” But he also defended the military against its right-wing critics. “We must all support the IDF chief of staff, the IDF and our soldiers, who safeguard our security,” he said.

READ MORE: Israeli forces ‘seal shut’ home of West Bank man believed to be responsible for car attack

The shooting came amid a six-month wave of Palestinian stabbings, shootings and car-ramming attacks that has killed 28 Israelis and two Americans. Over the same time, at least 188 Palestinians have died by Israeli fire. Israel says most were attackers, and the rest died in clashes with Israeli security forces.

Israel blames the attacks on incitement by Palestinian leaders and social media. Palestinians say the violence stems from frustration at nearly five decades of Israeli military occupation.

The Palestinians have also accused Israel of using excessive force and killing assailants who have already been stopped or wounded. A handful of amateur videos supporting the Palestinian claims have emerged in recent months, but Thursday’s killing of Palestinian Abdel-Fattah al-Sharif was perhaps the clearest so far.

“The way al-Sharif was killed is very common, but this time we had the camera to film the extra-judicial killing,” said Jamal Zakout, director of Al-Ard, a Palestinian think-tank in the West Bank town of Ramallah. He said the Palestinians could use the killing as a “good example” in their appeal for “international protection” from Israel.

Ben Caspit, a liberal commentator with the Maariv daily, said Israel must protect its “moral backbone.”

“The Israeli army is not an army that carries out extrajudicial executions,” he said. “It must not be such an army. On that day, we will know what we have lost. Unfortunately, we are not far off from that loss.”

CP Rail blocking Golden whitewater raft groups from popular run

In eight weeks, activity on the Kicking Horse River will roar to life.

The offshoot of the Columbia River is renowned for its whitewater rafting, bringing around 40,000 tourists every year.

And the most popular area to raft is the Lower Canyon route, which winds its way through treacherous terrain before ending in the town of Golden, B.C.

“They spend time in our community, they do rafting, and the Lower Canyon is the jewel,” says Golden Mayor Ron Oszust.

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But now, the Lower Canyon route – and a key part of Golden’s economy – is in jeopardy.

Canadian Pacific Rail has told six rafting companies they can no longer use loading area between the railway and the river.

“These companies will not be allowed to trespass on CP property to access the Kicking Horse River,” wrote CP spokesperson Salem Woodrow in a statement.

The decision came several months after a Transport Canada rail safety inspector noticed too many people were moving supplies across the railway tracks, and told CP Rail to come up with a solution.

For months, CP Rail and the rafting companies had talked about installing a crossing, to be paid for my the rafting companies.

But at a meeting last week, CP Rail told the community no crossing would be considered.

“It was our expectation going into the meetings was look at some specific short-term measures that would be acceptable to give time for a long-term solution to be put in place,” said Oszust.

“We were quite surprised shocked and disappointed when the CP reps stated they don’t believe there is a safe crossing at that location, and they’re not prepared to take the risk.”

Ryan Johannesen, owner of Glacier Raft Company, said a de facto ban of rafting the Lower Canyon would have a serious impact on their business.

“Between all the companies, there’s about 15,000 that would raft this section alone. Not only for the companies it means less income, it means less income for our guide, potentially fewer employees, a lot of them support families in town, so the trickle down effect would be fairly large,” he said.

“The answer of no for this crossing is something for this town, for this industry, that can’t be the final result.”

CP Rail says that after investigating the area, a safe crossing would be impossible to implement.

“Given the track curvature and sightlines, the risk to the public is too great,” wrote Woodrow.

“CP understands the frustration that the community may have regarding this issue. CP had attempted to find a solution that would allow rafters to cross safely and legally, but unfortunately there is no solution that will meet CP’s legal, risk and regulatory requirements.”

Johannesen, who says there has never been an accident in the industry’s 40 years of operation in the area, believes that’s not the case.

“They said putting a crossing n there wouldn’t meet Transport Canada guidelines, but we’ve spoken with Transport Canada, and they say a solution can be reached. It just feels like CP doesn’t want to work with us on this one.”

CP will meet with the companies again this week, as the town of Golden rallies around an industry they hope can continue unabated this year.

“They safely commercially raft some of the most dangerous whitewater rafting in the province. They’ve been doing that for 40 years, they’ve been getting people to do the river and down the river, and there’s never been an injury or accident at the railroad crossing,” said Oszust.

“Our interpretation was this is the final comment and stance [CP] was taking. As a community that’s not acceptable.”

‘You just have to start’: Edmonton woman shares her 147-pound weight-loss journey

It’s not easy to be candid about your weight. It’s also not easy to overhaul your eating habits and start working out. However, an Edmonton mother did all those things.

After losing 147 pounds, Shannon Mozak is sharing her story in hopes of inspiring others.

It wasn’t an easy start for Mozak, who at 335 pounds, was obese.

“I had four small kids at home and I wasn’t keeping up with the kids,” she said.

The fear of not living to see them grow up pushed her to step foot in a gym.

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    “In the beginning, when I was coming to the gym, everything hurt all the time,” Mozak said.

    She started taking group classes five times a week, but a year passed and she wasn’t seeing the results she wanted, so she asked for help. That’s when personal trainer Shauna Walton stepped in.

    “Her transformation was all emotional from the start,” Walton said. “All I needed her to do was break down.”

    “We sat in the back room and cried for two hours together and I think that was our big ‘ta-da’ moment. I knew Shannon was prepared to change and she knew she was ready to change.”

    READ MORE: N.S. man loses half his body weight, now hoping to inspire others 

    Walton asked her to do three things: drink more water, be open with her husband about how she was feeling, and write down everything she ate. That helped Mozak change her diet and her workout plan. One year later?

    “I feel like a night-and-day difference,” Mozak said. “Kind of like I woke up.”

    She’s lighter and stronger and it’s changed her life.

    “I can keep up with my kids,” Mozak said. “I wake up and can’t wait to come to the gym. I have energy.”

    READ MORE: What to eat before and after a workout to fuel your body 

    Her trainer calls her an inspiration.

    “People see Shannon around the gym and they know where she came from,” Walton said. “It’s really inspirational to see that eating healthy and exercising every single day, you get results.”

    “Some days, it had nothing to do with the exercises we were doing; it had everything to do with attitude.”

    Mozak admits it takes hard work to maintain her progress but she doesn’t want others to be discouraged from taking that first step.

    “You don’t have to wait to be ready,” Mozak said. “You just have to start.”

    Follow @Emily_Mertz

UBC release of uncensored information an ‘honest mistake’: report

VANCOUVER – The release of uncensored details about the departure of a former University of British Columbia president was an honest mistake, says a new report.

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Former B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner David Loukidelis reviewed the university’s conduct and policies after hidden attachments containing uncensored personal details about Arvind Gupta’s abrupt resignation were released to the public in January.

The review determined that the attachments were left in because a step was missed when the documents were processed.

“The incident occurred because of a simple mistake,” the report said.

“The disclosure was an accidental result of UBC’s good-faith attempt to be open and transparent.”

The report noted that the university has made changes in the wake of the incident on how it releases information, including implementing a checklist for access to information requests, revamping how embedded information is removed from documents and requiring a second staff member to check releases containing sensitive information.

Extended interview: Ex-UBC president Gupta talks about his departure

Loukidelis recommended the school take extra care when preparing documents to be released online and look at whether additional resources are needed in the department that handles access to information requests.

The university responded to the report with a statement saying they accept the findings and have passed the report on to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for review.

The statement also said the school will devote more staff resources to handle access to information requests.

UBC released 861 pages of documents in response to a series of Access to Information requests after Gupta abruptly relinquished his post last August.

Included were meeting agendas, receipts, emails and an agreement dated Aug. 6, 2015 that shows UBC agreed to top-up Gupta’s $446,750 salary until Jan. 31, 2016, and that he would be given a year’s leave of absence from Feb. 1, 2015 to Jan. 31, 2017, plus a $130,000 research grant.

Also included were emails showing UBC board of governors chair John Montalbano wanted to have a “confidential discussion, not captured on email” with Gupta just days before board members received notice about a meeting where they would discuss the president’s resignation.

Montalbano himself stepped down last October after an investigation into a professor’s claims that she was intimidated after writing a blog post suggesting Gupta lost a “masculinity contest” with the school’s leadership.

But the documents did not reveal why Gupta left the position one year into a five year term.

The former president said in a statement that the documents were a “one-sided representation” of what happened in the months before he left.

7-year-old Penticton girl celebrates being cancer-free

PENTICTON – It’s 7-year-old Myla Ganzeveld’s favourite day and this year, Easter Sunday is a little extra special for the Penticton girl.

“Because I’m out of the hospital,” says Myla. “Last year I had to be in the hospital for Easter.”

She was in hospital, battling cancer.

“It was terrifying,” says her mother Jennifer Ganzeveld.

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Jennifer says it was about a year and a half ago that Myla was misdiagnosed with an earache that kept getting worse. After four months, her pain became unbearable. That’s when doctors discovered she had a tumour.

“By February 6, [2015], they diagnosed her with Rhabdomyosarcoma,” says Jennifer.

“It’s a very aggressive form of cancer so they started chemo three days after her diagnosis.”

The active kindergartener, who loved gymnastics, had to go back and forth to hospitals in the Okanagan, the Lower Mainland and Seattle for almost a year.

“I had to go to a lot of different places to have the cancer go away,” says Myla.

It was a difficult time for the entire family, and Myla lost a significant amount of weight and much of her energy.

“It was to the point where the tumour was pushing on to her eardrum and down on to her throat and closing her airway,” says Jennifer.

Then a few months ago, the family got some great news.

“We had three month scans and it showed there is no evidence of disease so we are super happy,” says Jennifer.

After a long, hard fight, Myla is cancer-free.

“I’m happy now that it’s done,” says Myla.

Which means she can get back to being her active self. This year, for the first time she tested her skills on the ski hill and the ice rink. But what she’s looking forward to most is her upcoming trip to Disney World.

“I’m so excited…I can’t wait to meet Belle at Disney World,” says Myla.

The children’s wish foundation is granting Myla’s wish. As the excitement builds for what’s ahead for the now healthy girl, she takes time to reflect on her challenging year and wants to give some advice to any other child who is battling cancer.

“Stay strong like I did,” says Myla.

UPDATED: 1 dead, 4 injured in Simcoe County crash

ESSA TOWNSHIP, ONT. —; One woman is dead and four people are injured after two vehicles collided in what police are calling a “serious” crash in Essa Township.

Const. Sara Birrell from OPP Nottawasaga said it’s believed one car ran a stop sign while travelling south on 9th Line. A second car with six passengers was travelling east on 8th Sideroad.

The cars collided on 9th Line, just south of 10th Sideroad shortly after 4 p.m. on Sunday. When paramedics arrived, two people were trapped in a vehicle.

Ornge air ambulance had been called in to take one of the drivers —; who was in critical condition —; to hospital, but was called off before it arrived.

Essa Fire Department confirmed shortly after 5:30 p.m. that the female driver from the first car was pronounced dead on scene.

Const. Birrell said one person from the second car suffered serious injuries while three others suffered minor injuries.

Ontario Provincial Police are advising drivers to avoid the area as parts of 5th Sideroad and 9th Line are closed for the investigation.

Essa Township is part of Simcoe County, located northwest of Barrie.

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Pez Candy forced to cancel Easter egg hunt due to unruly parents

What’s supposed to be a cherished Easter tradition turned into a mess after pushy parents caused a scene at egg hunts over the weekend.

Saturday’s event at the visitor centre of candy company Pez in Orange, Connecticut, drew hundreds of people, some of whom ignored the rules.

“Everyone just rushed the field and took everything,” Pez General Manager Shawn Peterson told WFSB-TV.

Event organizers placed more than 9,000 eggs on three fields with the intention of having staggered start times for each age group. But Pez officials say parents didn’t wait.

WATCH: Creepy-looking Trump effigy exploded during Mexico Easter festivities

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Peterson said the crowd was “kind of like locusts.”

Pez in a statement apologized for “an unfortunate situation,” adding that the actions of a few turned the event into “a mess.”

“We sincerely tried our best to create a fun, free activity for everyone to enjoy,” the statement said.

People who attended the hunt took to Facebook to comment, calling it “a joke” and blaming “greedy parents” for ruining the hunt. The event ended early. No injuries were reported.

READ MORE: How people are celebrating Easter around the world

In Proctor, Vermont, police were called to an overbooked Easter egg hunt Saturday at Wilson Castle after someone reported “multiple irate parents.” Organizers say more than 1,200 people turned out for the event.

Michael Cuthbertson, 34, of Newbury, Vermont, turned his anger toward police, allegedly threatening them before fleeing. A foot chase ensued, and police used pepper spray to subdue him. He was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Cuthbertson did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Organizers get ready to celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility

CALGARY – Preparations are underway for an event celebrating Calgary’s transgender community and its supporters.

International Transgender Day of Visibility takes place on March 31 and is the first large-scale celebration of trans people in the city, other than the pride parade.

The annual holiday is dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide.

The holiday was founded in 2009 because of a lack of LGBTQ holidays.

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Calgary Pride and the Trans Equality Society of Alberta (TESA) are hosting a free event at the Jack Singer Concert Hall Lobby of Arts Common.

Organizers said it was important to have a day of celebration for the trans community and its achievements.

“We’ve seen a lot of progress over the past year, which has been wonderful, certainly with Bill 7 passing – which was an amendment to the Alberta Human Rights Act – which included gender identity and expression,” said Amelia Marie Newbert, director of Community Development for Calgary Pride. “However the stigma and discrimination that exists in society towards trans people is still very prevalent.”

“There certainly is substantially more diversity in the community and that’s what we’re trying to highlight in the event,” Newbert said.

Statistics show that 83 per cent of trans individuals have or continue to avoid spaces due to the fear and threat of discrimination, violence and harassment.

The ‘Trans Pulse‘ project statistics also show that 77 per cent of trans people have seriously considered suicide, with over 40 per cent having attempted it.

Saint John restaurant owner opens market aimed at Syrian refugees

Many Syrian refugees living in the Maritimes are finding it difficult to access food deemed acceptable under Islamic law. A Saint John restaurateur is trying to tackle that problem with an initiative that helps his community and may, in turn, boost his business.

It’s a pop-up market at the Taste of Egypt restaurant designed to serve the newly landed Syrian refugees who now call Saint John home.

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    This market, which opens Sunday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., specializes in Halal items. The word Halal means permissible in Arabic. Halal food has been found fit to serve, sell and eat by Islamic law.

    “No alcohol, no liquor in any products,” Taste of Egypt owner Ehab Radwan explained. “For the meat it’s the way you slaughter the animal to be Halal…It’s the same idea of Kosher for Jewish.”

    This is only the second Sunday Radwan has opened the market and on March 27 there was a steady stream of people through the door.

    Radwan came to Saint John from Alexandria Egypt six years ago. He can relate to the situation many Syrians are facing in Saint John, trying to adapt to a new culture.

    “I felt I have to do something for them so I’m trying to help them settle down here as much as I can.”

    The service he is now providing certainly seems to be appreciated by his customers.

    Michelle Mullett is a welcome team member to Rosem Abzid and says it’s important to give the Syrian refugees a sense of home.

    “This allows them to eat the food that they’re familiar with,” Mullett said.

    “They’ve had so much change and it’s difficult when the meal doesn’t feel like home.”

    Saint John is now home to about 400 Syrian refugees – that’s several dozen families.

    Some locals were also checking things out, which impressed Rosem.

    “I said to her, ‘In Canada we’re open to trying different cultures’ menus and this enables us to do it,’ but it also gives her the feeling of home,” Mullet added.

    Right now Radwan is bringing in products not readily available here with plans to up his inventory if necessary.

    “We keep adding more and yeah we’re able to bring in as much as I can.”

Lethbridge fitness community comes together to support Food Bank

LETHBRIDGE – The Lethbridge fitness community took part in a Burpee Challenge this weekend, all in the name of charity.

FitBody Bootcamp, Kinetic Indoor Cycle & Fitness, and CrossFit FrameWork hit the turf at the Civic Centre to make good on their promise to perform as many burpees as donations made by their clients to the Lethbridge Food Bank.

All food and cash donations made at all three locations were calculated, and totaled over $4000, and 1500 nonperishable food items.

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For every $20 donated to the cause, instructors were required to do 40 burpees. For every nonperishable food item donated from March 1 to March 26, they were required to do one burpee. The three groups completed over 8000 burpees.

Over the past year, all three fitness studios have donated to the Food Bank but this is the first time they have joined forces to help the community.

During these difficult economic times, donations are becoming more and more demanding in the area.

“We have increased about 100 families each month,” said Debbie Woelders, Executive Director of the Lethbridge Food Bank. “Unfortunately with the economy we have seen a lot more families who are in dire need for help.”

Many of the fitness studio clientele saw this event not only as a way to give back to the community, but a way to get back at their trainers for their hard workouts.

“We obviously make our members do a lot of burpees,” said Jarred Koktas, Director of Health and Fitness at FitBody Bootcamp. “They wanted to get back at us, and I can say they successfully did that.”

The group hopes that this will become an annual event and wants to encourage all fitness facilities in Lethbridge to take on the challenge for a worthy cause.