Russian official calls on US and Europe to act against ‘terrorism’ – National

DAMASCUS, Syria – Russia’s deputy foreign minister called on the United States and Europe to take “serious” steps to combat terrorism during a visit to Damascus on Saturday, warning that several Middle Eastern countries are threatened.

“Russia will not stand idle toward attempts by terrorist groups to spread terrorism in regional states,” Sergei Ryabkov told reporters, apparently referring to the rapid advance of the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant across eastern Syria and northern Iraq.

VIDEO GALLERY: Violence in Syria

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Raw video: Truck bombing in central Syria kills 34

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Russia has been one of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s main allies since the start of an uprising against him in March 2011. Moscow has used its veto power four times at the U.N. Security Council to prevent international sanctions on Syria.

Both Russia and Assad’s government have portrayed the civil war in Syria as a struggle against foreign-backed “terrorists,” the word Damascus applies to all rebels fighting to end the Assad family’s four-decade reign.

Nearly two hours after Ryabkov’s comments, a car bomb exploded in a busy market in the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Douma, activists said. It was not immediately clear how many people were killed or wounded.

The activists said the market was crowded as many people went shopping a day before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when observant Muslims fast from dawn to dusk and feast in the evenings.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the explosion caused extensive damage. The Observatory and an activist in the nearby suburb of Saqba who goes by the name of Abu Yazan said the Islamic State is believed to be behind the blast, because of a rivalry with other rebel groups in the area.

“Hospitals are full of wounded people,” Abu Yazan said via Skype.

Douma, one of the most populous suburbs of Damascus, has been under rebel control for more than two years.

The Islamic State has been fighting against rival rebel factions, including al-Qaida’s official affiliate, the Nusra Front, since January in battles that have left more than 6,000 people dead, according to the Observatory.

Ryabkov called for confronting terrorism by “taking integral measures against radicalism and by searching for a solution to prevent the influx of fighters from abroad,” adding that terrorism will have “catastrophic repercussions” on the entire region.

Thousands of foreign fighters, including hundreds from the former Soviet Union, are fighting against Assad’s forces in different parts of Syria, mainly on behalf of the Islamic State, which has carved out a sprawling enclave astride the Syrian-Iraqi border.

Ryabkov praised Damascus’ “responsible” decision to give up its chemical weapons, saying that doing so has boosted Syria’s security.

READ MORE: Conflict in Syria

On Monday, Syria finished handing over to Western powers 1,300 tons of chemical weapons it acknowledged possessing, completing a deal reached last fall under threat of U.S. airstrikes.

Ryabkov held talks a day earlier with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem and his deputy, Faisal Mekdad.

According to the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency, Ryabkov congratulated al-Moallem on removing “all chemical material” from the country.

©2014The Associated Press

Discrimination continues for seniors in LGBTQ community

WATCH ABOVE:  The celebration is bitter sweet for many visitors taking in the festivities. The acceptance and support a reminder of what life isn’t like back home. Cindy Pom reports.

TORONTO – For 85-year-old Alf Roberts, Canada’s largest gay pride celebration is a chance to celebrate an identity he only felt comfortable sharing in his old age.

“At last, after all these years I don’t have to be careful when people ask me if I’m gay,” Roberts said. “I just say yes, I am.”

VIDEO GALLERY: Word Pride 2014

WorldPride is this weekend and businesses along the parade route are gearing up for a massive party.

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WorldPride is this weekend and businesses along the parade route are gearing up for a massive party.

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Mass wedding for same-sex couples at WorldPride

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Toronto holds “Gay Family Day” as part of WorldPride




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Roberts came out when he was 80, shortly after moving into Fudger House, a long-term care facility for seniors in Toronto.

“I was a church organist for years and a music teacher, and you are very careful in those positions,” he said. “You don’t want everybody to know.”

For most of his life, Roberts would remain vague about his identity, responding “I am who I am,” when people asked him if he was gay.

Then, relief came when he realized that Fudger House touted a gay-positive environment.

Bill Ryan, a social worker and professor at McGill University, said it’s rare to be openly gay in a seniors home.

Ryan, who has conducted research on the elderly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community for more than a decade, said stigma persists because residents in seniors homes lived in an era when homosexuality was considered a criminal act or mental illness.

Canada decriminalized homosexual acts in 1969.

“They grew up at a time when the only coping strategy that was allowed to them was to hide and camouflage themselves,” Ryan said, adding that most seniors don’t have the benefit of political activism over the last 30 years.

He added the baby boomer generation will be entirely different when they enter long-term care facilities.

“Those growing into their 50s and 60s would go to the courts and tribunals to claim their rights,” he said.

During his research on long-term care facilities, Ryan heard from one gay couple who would go into the senior centre’s bathroom to hold hands instead of showing affection in front of centre staff.

“He would visit during non-family visiting hours, and he would take his partner out of bed, help him into the bathroom and close the door behind him. Then they would hold each other for as long as they could and hug, and then he would open the bathroom door, put him back in bed, and not touch him again.

“It’s a powerful metaphor of what a lot of people experience,” Ryan said.

He added that the cohort of LGBT seniors in long-term care are particularly vulnerable, and are at higher risk of isolation and depression.

“The generation of those who haven’t had HIV or AIDS are dealing with a lot more isolation because many of their friends have died,” he said.

Donna Turner, spokeswoman for Rainbow Health Ontario–an organization that focuses on the health of the LGBT community –said changing the culture in seniors homes is an “uphill battle.”

Her organization is one of several that provides training to staff members in the hopes of quelling discrimination across Ontario.

“Long-term care facilities are particularly tough because there are some people who might already have pretty strong convictions, whether it’s residents or staff,” she said.

For the most part, care centres will ask for training after there has already been a “negative incident,” she said.

And while seniors homes in urban areas such as Toronto may be LGBT-friendly, she said, that’s not the reality across Canada.

Marie Robertson has been a counsellor and an activist for the LGBT community for more than four decades.

As a senior herself, Robertson, 61, said she has a “vested interest” in training staff to be LGBT-friendly at Canada’s senior care centres.

“So that when my generation needs care, we’re not going in the closet to access service,” she said, adding that she helps to train people in Ottawa.

Robertson said members of the elderly LGBT community lived most of their lives facing high risks of personal and professional discrimination.

“It was a very frightening time,” she said.

“Even in the last years of their lives, these people will die there and stay in the closet. That just breaks my heart.”

She added that while “some of this is their mind-set,” homophobia is still a problem in many seniors homes.

In the United States, this has led to the creation of centres marketed specifically to the LGBT community, however Robertson said in Canada that would be “a fantasy.”

She added that instead of isolating LGBT seniors, the answer is to address discrimination head on.

“I’ve been paying taxes all my adult life, and my taxes have gone into building the facilities that exist today,” she said.

With World Pride in Toronto wrapping up in a rainbow haze of revelry, Fudger House will be one of many organizations in Sunday’s parade.

Roberts — who has ridden in the parade since he came out at 80 — said it’s a chance to celebrate being true to yourself.

“If there are any young people who have someone they can talk to, they shouldn’t be afraid to come out,” he said. “That’s the message.”

©2014The Canadian Press

Survivor of fatal drunk driving crash shares her story

Getting into the car with a drunk driver behind the wheel almost killed 23-year-old Alyssa Alanis four years ago when the sedan carrying seven people she was in lost control, struck a light standard, flipped in the air and rolled over in Burnaby.

As Alanis copes with her decision to ride with a drunk driver, and struggles with her recovery, she wants others to learn from her mistake.

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“The consequences of one simple choice,” said Alanis as she broke down in tears, “can change not only your life but it can change others. Not only change it, but it can end it.”

The crash left the drunk driver, Baldip Chandi, uninjured, but two other passengers, including Alanis’s boyfriend died. He was sentenced on March 1, 2012, to three years in prison for drunk and dangerous driving. Alanis was thrown from the vehicle and was not expected to survive.

Corporal Robert McDonald, spokesperson for RCMP Traffic Services, was at the scene of the crash four years ago, and remembers being told that Alanis had a zero chance of survival.
“It took about a week before she finally changed her status from zero chance of survival to stable,” said Corporal McDonald.

February 2010 crash that killed two young men and injured three other youths.

Global BC

Alanis’s mother, Gigi, stands by her daughter’s side and desperately pleads for people not to drink and drive. She wants others to know about the struggles her daughter will face every day for the rest of her life.

“She may look normal physically but cognitively it’s very difficult for her,” said Gigi ” she can’t make decisions , she can’t go to school, she can’t go to work.”

“I used to be able to play the guitar,” said Alanis.

Alanis used to be a musician but her life has clearly changed forever.

“I used to be able to play the piano and I used to write my own music and perform it,” said Alanis “unfortunately I’ve forgotten all of that.”

RCMP officers across the province have launched their summer Counter Attack campaign, and both mother and daughter are using the occasion to warn others about the dangers of drinking and driving and the deadly risk of getting into a car with a drunk driver behind the wheel.

“It could change your life,” said Alanis “it could literally end people’s lives.”

Pride festival organizer says Toronto ‘streets are overflowing’

TORONTO – An organizer of Toronto’s gay pride festival says this year’s event is shaping up to be the biggest one yet.

Pride Toronto co-chair Sean Hillier says there have been a record number of groups registering to take part in WorldPride Toronto and that the “streets are overflowing” with people attending.

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The festival kicked off on June 20 and the main event, the pride parade, will take place Sunday.

Hillier says more than 350 groups have signed up to take part in the march along with 12,500 marchers.

The Pride Parade is expected to be the highlight of the week’s festivities drawing over 200,000 watchers.

He says that this year’s annual festival being designated a WorldPride event by a global gay and lesbian group has boosted the number of people attending from abroad, such as more than 400 delegates attending a conference on human rights.

Earlier Saturday thousands gathered in the downtown for the annual Dyke March, which began at Allen Gardens before moving west along Carlton Street and then up Yonge Street.

Dykes on Bikes at the Dyke March during Pride, Toronto, Ont., June 29, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Dominic Chan

This is the 34th year Toronto has held the gay pride festival.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau are all to attend a streetside service by the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto officiated by an openly gay pastor on Sunday morning

Earlier this week over 100 couples were married at The Grand Pride Wedding involving couples from across Canada as well as participants from countries where same sex marriage is illegal.

Dana Murphy (L) and Shannon St Germain dance during the Grand Pride Wedding, a mass gay wedding at Casa Loma in Toronto, Canada, on June 26, 2014.

Getty Images

Over 100 gay couples participate in a mass wedding during World Pride 2014 at Casa Loma in Toronto, Ont. on Thursday, June 26, 2014.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

Couples walk hand-in-hand before joining over 100 other gay couples in a mass wedding during World Pride 2014 at Casa Loma in Toronto, on Thursday, June 26, 2014.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

Steven B. Andrews rests on his husband Michael Dow’s shoulder while joining over 100 other gay couples in a mass wedding during World Pride 2014 at Casa Loma in Toronto, on Thursday, June 26, 2014.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

Jen Chang, left, and Inae Lee pose for photos before joining over 100 gay couples in a mass wedding during World Pride 2014 at Casa Loma in Toronto, on Thursday, June 26, 2014.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

Dayna Murphy, left, and her partner Shannon St. Germain have their photo taken by tourists before joining over 100 gay couples in a mass wedding during World Pride 2014 at Casa Loma in Toronto, on Thursday, June 26, 2014.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

A married couple hold hands after joining over 100 gay couples in a mass wedding during World Pride 2014 at Casa Loma in Toronto, on Thursday, June 26, 2014.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

Michelle, left, and May Brand laugh before joining over 100 gay couples in a mass wedding during World Pride 2014 at Casa Loma in Toronto, on Thursday, June 26, 2014.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

File photo.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese


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©2014The Canadian Press

Driver allegedly targets fire crews at scene of accident in Surrey – BC

VANCOUVER, B.C. — The Surrey RCMP are investigating after a string of hit-and-runs took place around the city today, with the driver possibly targeting fire crews.

Early this morning a man was rear-ended by a blue Dodge Charger in Whalley, according to police.  The driver of the Charger took off from the scene, and was chased by the man he hit until authorities advised the complainant to pull over and wait for the police. Just as crews were responding to that incident, they got word of another collision in the Newton area, involving the same vehicle.

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“That same blue dodge charger crashed into a hydro pole, shearing off the hydro wires as well as telephone cabling. The driver then fled on foot from the scene,” Insp. Tim Shields told Global News. It happened at the intersection of 72 Ave. and 140 St.

The driver hit the pole with such force that it snapped in two places. Witnesses say the car was completely “totaled” and you wouldn’t have expected the driver to be able to walk — or limp – away.

While fire crews were investigating the scene of the second accident, a White Cherokee Jeep came out of an alleyway and drove directly toward them extremely quickly. They had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit.

The Cherokee was found roughly three or four blocks away, abandoned.

Authorities say they have a very good idea of who was driving the Charger and are not sure who was driving the Cherokee, or whether the incidents are related. No one has been taken into custody at this time. They’re asking anyone with information on the accidents to contact the Surrey RCMP.

Thousands converge on Swift Current for its centennial homecoming

REGINA – Swift Current is ringing in a major milestone, the city’s 100th birthday, with four days of jam-packed events.

Celebrations kicked off Thursday and will wrap up with a fireworks show Sunday evening.

Co-chair of the Centennial Committee, Pat Friesen, said they are expecting thousands of people to turn out for the homecoming.

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“There are people from all over the world. There’s several registered from Australia, many from the U.S., and lots from across Canada,” she explained. “So, it’s going to be a great weekend, and lots of reunions of old acquaintances.”

Swift Current received official city status in January 1914, despite a report that deemed the area uninhabitable for settlers.

Captain John Palliser lead an expedition commissioned by the British Government in the 1840s, which described an area in south-west Saskatchewan, The Palliser Triangle, as a poor area for agriculture.

According to the city’s very own Premier Brad Wall, the report wasn’t the only one to deem Swift Current and the surrounding area unideal for settlers.

“A ranch manager in 1906, after a particularly bad winter, said the same thing: too much space to get lost in or freeze to death. Of coursec it’s nice to prove those people wrong.”

The city was originally established as a railway town, and development over the last 10 years has been substantial.

Mayor Jerrod Schafer said the area has many resources and has proven itself a key player in the province, with a promising future ahead.

“The next 100 years is exciting. Swift Current has changed a lot in the last number of years, our population is growing, and there’s a lot of optimism and excitement in the community.”

Bosnia marks moment when World War I started 100 years ago – National

SARAJEVO – Artists and diplomats declared a new century of peace and unity in Europe on Saturday in the city where the first two shots of World War I were fired exactly 100 years ago.

On June 28, 1914, the Austro-Hungarian crown prince Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo, where he had come to inspect his occupying troops in the empire’s eastern province.

The shots fired by Serb teenager Gavrilo Princip sparked the Great War, which was followed decades later by a second world conflict. Together the two wars cost some 80 million European their lives, ended four empires – including the Austro-Hungarian – and changed the world forever.

WATCH: Forgotten Canadian World War I photos highlighted in new exhibit in Ottawa 

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READ MORE: Bosnian Serbs erect statue of assassin who ignited WWI

Visiting the assassination site Saturday, Sarajevan Davud Bajramovic, 67, said that in order to hold a second of silence for every person killed just during WWI in Europe, “we would have to stand silently for two years.”

A century later, Sarajevans again crowded the same street along the river where Princip fired his shots. And the Austrians were also back, but this time with music instead of military: The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra was scheduled to perform works of European composers reflecting the century’s catastrophic events and conclude with a symbol of unity in Europe – the joint European hymn, Beethoven’s “Ode of Joy.”

The orchestra wanted to pay tribute to the history of Sarajevo, a place where religions meet, said the first violinist, Clemens Hellberg.

Austrian President Heinz Fischer said Europeans “have learnt that no problem can be solved by war.”

The continent’s violent century started in Sarajevo and ended in Sarajevo with the 1992-95 war that took 100,000 Bosnian lives.

“If anything good can be found in this repeating evil, it’s more wisdom and readiness to build peace and achieve peace after a century of wars,” said Bosnia’s president, Bakir Izetbegovic.

The splurge of centennial concerts, speeches, lectures and exhibitions on Saturday were mostly focused on creating lasting peace and promoting unity in a country that is still struggling with similar divisions as it did 100 years ago. The rift was manifested by the Serbs marking the centennial by themselves in the part of Bosnia they control, where a performance re-enacted the assassination.

READ MORE: European leaders mark 100th anniversary of start of World War I

As Austrian conductor Franz Welser-Moest raised his baton in Sarajevo, an actor playing Gavrilo Princip descending from heaven on angel’s wings, raised his pistol in the eastern town of Visegrad, at the border to Serbia, to kill Franz Ferdinand again in a spectacular performance designed for the occasion.

For the Serbs, Princip was a hero who saw Bosnia as part of the Serb national territory at a time when the country was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His shots were a chance for them to include Bosnia into the neighbouring Serbian kingdom – the same idea that inspired the Serbs in 1992 to fight the decision by Muslim Bosnians and Catholic Croats to declare the former republic of Bosnia independent when Serb-dominated Yugoslavia fell apart.

Their desire is still to include the part of Bosnia they control into neighbouring Serbia. Serbia itself flirts with both – the EU opposed unification with the Bosnian Serbs and its own EU membership candidacy.

Serbian crown prince Aleksandar Karadjordjevic, Serbian prime minister Aleksandar Vucic, President Tomislav Nikolic and the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Irinej attended the ceremony in Visegrad where Serbian flags flew and the Serbian anthem was played although the town is in Bosnia.

Vucic said he was proud because in Visegrad “the Serbs are protecting their good reputation.”

In Sarajevo, French philosopher and writer Bernard-Henry Levy said Europe owes Bosnia because it “stood idly by” as Serb nationalists bombed besieged multiethnic Sarajevo for 3.5 years. Levy started a petition Saturday among European intellectuals requesting the EU to “pay Bosnia back” by promptly giving it full membership in the European Union because it defended European values by itself 20 years ago.

“What Europe will gain from Bosnia is part of its spirit, part of its soul,” he said, referring to efforts of some Bosnians to preserve the multiethnic character of the country and resist national division.

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, a former hard-line nationalist-turned pro-EU reformer, previously said he considered going to Sarajevo for the centennial but gave up after realizing he would have to stand beside a plaque depicting Serbs as criminals.

Indeed, a plaque at the entrance of the recently reconstructed Sarajevo National Library building where the concert was taking place states “Serb criminals” had set the library ablaze in 1992 along with its two million books, magazines and manuscripts.

Karl von Habsburg, the grandson of the last Austrian emperor Charles I, was also attending the ceremonies.

“We need united Europe and one thing is for sure: Europe will never be complete without Bosnia,” he stated.

©2014The Canadian Press

Radio hams celebrate Field Day – Winnipeg

WINNIPEG – Since the 1930’s thousands of amateur radio enthusiast have gathered around the world for their annual Field Day.

“To me it’s my favorite part of the whole year,” said amateur radio operator Jerry Spring.

Spring got his amateur radio license when he was 15-years-old and he has been hooked sending Morse code messages around the globe ever since.

Jerry Spring sends and receives Morse code messages

Ashley Carter/Global News

“There’s something about hearing your call sign come back to you from some far off part of the world that you’ve never visited or never even heard of before, somewhere in deep dark Africa or Australia,” said Spring.

While these amateur radio hobbyists, known as hams, sent messages for fun Saturday, they can also play a pivotal role during disasters when other means of communication fail.

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“You name any major natural disaster in the last probably 30 years and amateur radio has provided a supporting role in that,” said Field Day coordinator Jim Sutton.

“I was involved in the flood last year in Calgary and there were messages being passed to the hospitals and things like that when all the power’s down in certain places and it was ham radio that did the job,” said Spring.

But radio hams don’t just try to contact others on earth, they reach even further.

On field day astronauts on the International Space Station went out of their way to talk to as many hams as they could. Like Peter Toth, who contacted astronauts on the space station in December.

“They asked me what the temperature was where I’m at and I told them I live just north of Winnipeg and I told them it was -35 C and they said you can keep it, I said thanks. A few seconds later the signal started fading so it was a brief conversation but it was cool,” said Toth.

Last year nearly 40,000 amateur radio operators across North America took part in Field Day.

The 24-hour event hosted by the Winnipeg Amateur Radio Club runs until Sunday afternoon at the Canadian Mennonite University.

Calgary Stampeders open season with 29-8 win over Montreal Alouettes

CALGARY – The CFL’s marquee player gave the Calgary Stampeders a real scare in their 29-8 win over the Montreal Alouettes to open the season Saturday.

Jon Cornish lay face down on the field in the fourth quarter after the Stampeders running back took a high, hard hit on the run from Alouettes linebacker Kyries Hebert.

It looked grim for the CFL’s leading rusher and most outstanding player in 2013 when an ambulance was summoned onto the field.

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But an immediate trip to the hospital wasn’t required as the 29-year-old from New Westminster, B.C., got up and walked to the clubhouse accompanied by medical staff.

“I was knocked out,” Cornish said following the game. “I’m going to have to go through concussion protocol 100 per cent.

“You’d expect me to feel a little bit worse, but I’m pretty good. I can remember what happened before and immediately after.”

What happened a few minutes before that play was Cornish running for an 18-yard touchdown off a direct snap to pad Calgary’s lead to 26-1.

The Stampeders posted the CFL’s best record last season at 14-4 and were quick out of the gates to start 2014.

An opening-day starter for the first time in his CFL career, quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell was efficient throwing for 313 yards, a pair of touchdowns and zero interceptions.

The Texan completed 16 of 25 passes. He threw out of Calgary’s end zone to Maurice Price for a 102-touchdown pass in the opening quarter and tossed to Anthony Parker for another major in the fourth.

Rene Paredes kicked a pair of field goals and punter Rob Maver contributed two punt singles in front of announced attendance of 26,135 at McMahon Stadium. Cornish had 67 yards on 14 carries before leaving the game.

“I thought we played very physical on both sides of the football and special teams, we played fast,” Stampeder coach and general manager John Hufnagel said. “I think we took a first right step going in the direction we want to go. A lot of work to be done though.”

Montreal, 8-10 last season, have large wrinkles to iron out on both sides of the football.

Troy Smith’s season debut for the Alouettes marked the first time since 1999 a quarterback other than Anthony Calvillo was Montreal’s opening-day starter. The CFL’s all-time passing leader retired in January after 16 seasons with the Alouettes.

Smith, a former Heisman Trophy winner with Ohio State, completed 17 of 40 passes for 127 yards. He was sacked four times and intercepted once.

Sean Whyte’s punt single was Montreal’s only point until fullback Steven Lumbala dove for a one-yard major on the final play of the game.

A gaffe by Montreal’s secondary left Price open for his touchdown as the Als had two defenders on Calgary receiver Jeff Fuller.

“I don’t feel good at all,” Smith said. “There’s a whole different feel when you leave the field after a week’s work of preparation and nothing works.

“You definitely have to look yourself in the mirror and you have to understand that things aren’t going to go the exact ideal way that you want them to all the time.

“You’ve got to go back to the drawing board and accept the Calgary Stampeders played a great game today. They game-planned and they paid also, and they made plays.”

Former NFL star receiver Chad Johnson had two catches for 20 yards in his CFL debut.

“I’ve got a long way to go, man,” Johnson said. “With this being my first time experiencing a real live game with the bullets flying, the level of competition is really not that far off from the NFL and the speed of the game is equivalent.”

Hebert was slapped with a major foul and ejected for his hit on Cornish. Calgary parlayed Montreal’s 25-yard penalty into another touchdown as Mitchell threw to Parker in the end zone.

Cornish says he’s yet to be diagnosed with a concussion in his career. The league’s top rusher the past two seasons said he bore Hebert no ill-will.

“I don’t really blame him,” Cornish said. “I got a pretty good cut block on him earlier in the game, so that’s how it goes sometimes.”

Hufnagel had said it was a “photo finish” between Mitchell and Drew Tate in choosing a first-day starting quarterback.

Mitchell cleaned up his game considerably Saturday after a pre-season loss to the Lions a week earlier, when he completed half his pass attempts and was intercepted twice.

The quarterback checked off the boxes of throwing touchdowns, moving the offence and not allowing any interceptions Saturday.

“I’m still not going to check the box of going out and doing exactly what I wanted to do and that’s just making sure we’re executing on everything we can,” Mitchell said. “A couple plays early on I can myself clean up.

“I felt like there was a quarter where we didn’t move the ball very well. I felt like I played good, but it’s easy when your receivers are making those kind of plays and your O-line is giving you time.”

Paredes, winner of the CFL’s special-teams player award last season, booted field goals from 25 and 38 yards in the game. Maver kicked punt singles of 78 and 88 yards.

Whyte was wide on a 39-yard attempt midway through the first quarter.

Calgary’s defence held the Als under 100 offensive yards in the first half when Charleston Hughes, Corey Mace and DeQuin Evans each recorded sacks and Hughes knocked down a pass. Juwan Simpson also sacked Smith later in the game.

Cornerback Fred Bennett would have collected two interceptions in the half had his second not been negated by Deron Mayo’s horse-collar tackle on Smith.

The Stampeders head immediately into their bye week. Their next game is in Toronto against the Argonauts on July 12.

The Als host the B.C. Lions on Friday. With the Blue Bombers moving to the West Division, Montreal won’t face an East Division rival until Aug. 1.

White Sox fend off late Blue Jays rally to win 4-3

TORONTO – Right-fielder Dayan Viciedo hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning and left-hander Chris Sale pitched seven innings as the Chicago White Sox defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 on Saturday.

The Blue Jays scored one run in the ninth inning as their late rally fell short for the second game in a row.

Sale (7-1) held the Blue Jays to four hits and five walks while striking out six. The only runs he allowed came on a two-run homer by right-fielder Darin Mastroianni in the fourth.

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Blue Jays rookie right-hander Marcus Stroman pitched well over 6 2/3 innings, allowing two hits, two walks and two runs while striking out six. He did not factor in the decision.

Stroman allowed a second-inning double to White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn and then walked him to lead off the fifth and nothing more through six innings.

But in the seventh inning, White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu doubled with two out to extend his career-best hitting streak to 13 games and Dunn walked for the second time in the game.

READ MORE: Late rally by Blue Jays falls short, lose 5-4 to Chicago White Sox

Right-hander Dustin McGowan (4-3) came in from the bullpen and his first-pitch slider was launched into left-field seats by Viciedo for his eighth homer of the season and a 3-2 Chicago lead.

The White Sox added a run in the eighth on a single by pinch hitter Alexei Ramirez against reliever Aaron Loup. The left-hander replaced McGowan after two-out singles by centre-fielder Adam Eaton and second baseman Gordon Beckham. Chicago loaded the bases in the ninth with none out against Blue Jays closer Casey Janssen but could not score.

The White Sox (38-44) have won two in a row over the Blue Jays (45-38) to assure themselves of a split in the four-game series.

Right-hander Zach Putnam who got the final out of the eighth stayed in the game for the ninth and allowed a leadoff double by pinch hitter Anthony Gose. Second baseman Munenori Kawasaki singled him home to cut the lead to one.

Shortstop Jose Reyes hit Kawasaki in to a force out at second and left-fielder Melky Cabrera hit a fly to right for the second out. First baseman Edwin Encarnacion ended the game by forcing Reyes out at second. Putnam picked up his first save of the season.

It was a disappointing result for Stroman who was coming off a strong win over the New York Yankees last Tuesday when he allowed three hits and one run in eight innings.

The Blue Jays took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning when Mastroianni snapped a 0-for-14 streak to open his season in the majors this season by taking a 3-2 change-up to left for a two-run homer. It was his fourth career homer in the majors with the first three coming with the Minnesota Twins in 2012. The homer came after Colby Rasmus took a two-out walk.

©2014The Canadian Press

BC Government and support staff in 6 districts reach deal

VANCOUVER, B.C. — While the teachers and the B.C. Government’s battle over compensation, class sizes and composition wages on, support staff in six districts have come to an agreement with the provincial government.

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More than 3,000 workers have ratified a new five-year agreement.  Support staff in Burnaby, Comox Valley, Vancouver Island West, Sooke, Powell River and West Vancouver have signed off on a new contract, effective July 1 to June 30, 2019. It sees them receive a 5.5 per cent wage increase over that period.

Additionally, the terms of the arrangement outline that within 30 days of the Board of Education, local union and the BC Public School Employers’ Association signing off on a collective agreement, the board will reimburse support staff for scheduled hours they were not able to work during the teachers’ strike.

The remaining districts are working to ratify agreements by November, 2014.

“These six ratified agreements mean that more than 3,000 support staff are now covered by settlements and can begin to see some of the money they lost during the BCTF’s strike action,” said Minister of Education Peter Fassbender, in a statement.

Rainfall warning issued in southeast Saskatchewan

SASKATOON – Environment Canada has issued a rainfall warning in southeast Saskatchewan.

Meteorologists are following a low pressure system that has spread into the extreme southeastern corner of Saskatchewan.

The system is forecast to move into east-central areas of the province and intensify Saturday night.

General rainfall of 50 millimetres is expected, while the Yorkton and Kamsack regions could see 75 millimetres.

Heavy downpours can cause localized flooding in low-lying areas.

Weather conditions should start improving by Sunday night.

Anyone who would like to report severe weather can call 1-800-239-0484 or email photos to [email protected]桑拿按摩.

Want your weather on the go? Download Global News’ Skytracker weather apps for iPhone, iPad and Android.

Rainfall warning ISSUED for:

Carlyle – Oxbow – Carnduff – Bienfait – StoughtonYorkton – Melville – EsterhazyMoosomin – Grenfell – Kipling – WawotaCarlyle – Oxbow – Carnduff – Bienfait – StoughtonHudson Bay – Porcupine PlainFort Qu’Appelle – Indian Head – Lumsden – Pilot ButteEstevan – Weyburn – Radville – Milestone
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Habs can’t resist skills of Daniel Audette

PHILADELPHIA – The Montreal Canadiens got bigger in Saturday’s NHL draft but couldn’t resist the allure of five-foot-eight Sherbrooke centre Daniel Audette.

Its other five picks were all six foot or better, with three at 6-1 or above. Third-round pick Brett Lernout stands six foot four and weighs 206 pounds.

“He’s a big strong strapping defenceman,” Trevor Timmins, Montreal’s director of amateur scouting, said of Lernout. “He’s tough as nails and has a heavy shot.”

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Timmins had talked prior to the draft about the Habs wanting to “get bigger, stronger, faster.”

“But at the same time if there’s a player that’s undersized there and he’s a good hockey player, then he’s hard to pass. That’s the situation here with Daniel — similar to a Brendan Gallagher in his draft year. You simply can’t go by a player with that much ability.”

Gallagher is five foot nine and 180 pounds but plays much larger.

The 175-pound Audette had 21 goals and 55 assists in 68 games last season.

Audette, the son of Habs amateur scout and former NHLer Donald Audette, went in the fifth round. Timmins said Audette Sr. had not been involved in any of the pre-draft discussion on his son.

In fact, Donald was told to spend the afternoon in the stands with his wife and son until Daniel got drafted.

Donald collected 260 goals and 249 assists 735 career NHL games with the Buffalo Sabres, Los Angeles Kings, Atlanta Thrashers, Dallas Stars, Montreal and Florida Panthers.

The Canadiens traded up to get Lernout, a Swift Current defenceman.

They gave up their third-round pick (87th overall) and fourth-round pick (117th overall) to get Arizona’s third-rounder (73rd overall).

“I looked at the team picking in front of us and I thought there was a good chance that he wouldn’t be there (by Montreal’s pick) … We wanted to add some size on defence and he was a good fit for us there,” said Timmins.

Montreal took AJHL defenceman Nikolas Koberstein (125th overall) and Audette (147th overall) in the fifth round, USHL goalie Hayden Hawkey (177th overall) in the sixth round and Ontario Junior Hockey League forward Jake Evans (207th overall) in the seventh round.

Montreal used its first-round pick Friday to take Russian forward Nikita Scherbak of the Saskatoon Blades 26th overall.

Thanks to reaching the Eastern Conference final, the Canadiens’ draft position was well down this year.

“If you take a look at our picks in every round, they’re pretty late. So the asset value of the picks we had wasn’t near as high as last year or the year before,” Timmins said. “That’s why we had to make that trade in the third (round) to move up.

“We had to wait out turn pretty long in each round. I’ll tell you (how we did) a few years down the road. But we’re happy with the guys we got. They’re the guys we targeted and we still had guys left on the list that we wanted to draft.”

The Habs went “under the radar” on Koberstein, according to their scouting director.

“I think this guy has good upside and long-range projection,” he said. “He’s a great kid and has tons of character but he’s a good hockey player too.”

Koberstein is committed to play at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks after one more year with the Olds Grizzlys of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

Timmins sees him as a five-year player, meaning he has one year at Junior A and four at college.

Hawkey, USHL goalie of the year, is committed to play collegiate hockey at Providence. “He’s like money in the bank,” said Timmins.

Evans is headed to Notre Dame. “He’s a skilled centre with great playmaking ability,” said Timmins.