Vancouver Canucks trade Ryan Kesler to Anaheim Ducks

The Vancouver Canucks have traded Ryan Kesler to the Anaheim Ducks for Luca Sbisa and Nick Bonino, plus a 24th pick.

The Canucks are also getting the 85th pick in 2014 and the Ducks get the Canucks’ third-round pick in 2015.

READ MORE: Florida Panthers take defenceman Aaron Ekblad first overall in NHL draft

For the 85th pick, the Canucks have acquired right-wing Derek Dorsett from the New York Rangers.

Kesler says he has nothing but nice things to say about Vancouver and his experience with the Canucks:

The Kesler trade is not as big a shock as when the Cory Schneider trade happened. Ryan Kesler has been talked about as being on the chopping block for a while and as he has no trade clause he can take any trade offer.

Who are Luca Sbisa and Nick Bonino?

Bonino (centerman) – goals 22, assists 27, points 49 last season with Anaheim, signed three-year contract extension in 2013 through the 2016-17 season, worth $5.7 million, yearly cap hit of $1.9 million.

Sbisa (defenceman) – goals 1, assists 5, points 6 last season with Anaheim, signed four-year contract extension with the Ducks in 2011, worth $8.7 million with a yearly cap hit of $2.175 million.

The Vancouver Canucks have also traded Jason Garrison to Tampa Bay for the 50th overall pick, the rights to Jeff Costello and Vancouver’s 7th round pick in 2015.

Global BC Sports anchor Jay Durant had the following to say about today’s trades:

Nick Bonino certainly can’t fill Ryan Kesler’s shoes right away, but he has developed into a solid second line centre in Anaheim scoring 22 goals and 49 points last year. At 26, he’s a few years younger than Kesler and much cheaper coming with a $1.9 million cap hit until 2016-17.

Luca Sbisa is a former first round pick who hasn’t lived up to his billing.  He has battled injuries and has one year left on his deal, so the Canucks aren’t tied down if he doesn’t pan out.

The Canucks have created more Cap space dealing Garrison to Tampa Bay. He has four more years with a $4.6 million Cap hit.

Garrison returns to Florida after coming to Vancouver after a stint with the Panthers.  The sunshine state is a popular destination for snowbirds and ex-Canucks defencemen: Mattias Ohlund, Sami Salo and now Jason Garrison.

Derek Dorsett is a gritty fourth line who played for Canucks Coach Willie Desjardins in Medicine Hat.  He helped lead the Tigers to the Memorial Cup final in 2007 before losing to Milan Lucic and the Vancouver Giants.

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8 crossing guard posts in Halifax cut for 2014-15 school year – Halifax

HALIFAX – Kids walking to school in Halifax this fall will have fewer crossing guards to help them navigate city streets.

The Halifax Regional Police confirmed the staffing reduction in a news release Friday, saying it will affect eight intersections spread across Halifax, Dartmouth, Cole Harbour and Sackville for the 2014-15 school year.

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The police said assessments were conducted to determine which areas to target, and aspects such as the number of students using the crosswalk, the presence or absence of signage, and the volume of vehicular traffic were considered.

The results showed that 21 intersections did not meet the necessary criteria for having a crossing guard, but police said only eight spots will be eliminated from the list due to safety concerns at the others.

Separate from the assessment, the intersection of Pinehill Drive and George Street in Sackville will also lose its crossing guard due to the closure of Sackville Centennial elementary school.

The police say they can assess or re-assess the need for crossing guards in a any area of the city, and residents can contact them directly or reach out to their city councillor for help.

Take Our Poll

The intersections that will no longer be staffed with a crossing guard for the 2014-15 school year:

Duffus & Agricola Streets, St. Stephen’s Elementary School, HalifaxInglis & South Park Streets (currently vacant), Inglis Street Elementary School, HalifaxFlamingo Drive & Oriole Street, École Rockingham School, HalifaxKearney Lake Road & Wedgewood Drive, École Grosvenor Wentworth Park School, HalifaxMount Edward Road & Brigadoon Avenue, Mount Edward Elementary School, DartmouthWaverley Road & Montebello Drive, Michael Wallace Elementary School, DartmouthColby & Delta Drives, Colby Village Elementary School, Cole HarbourRiverside Drive & Candlewood Lane, Sycamore Lane Elementary School, Sackville

Top 5 things to do when you can’t watch World Cup – Toronto

TORONTO – After 48 matches and at least 72 hours of screen time for FIFA’s World Cup tournament, soccer has become a mainstay in Canadian living rooms and bars.

Here’s the top 5 things you can do with your free time:

Rib Fest

Eat ribs and feel good about it. The annual Etobicoke rib fest supports a number of humanitarian causes.

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A $2 entry fee grants you access to 16 barbeque vendors, live music and if you can’t stay away from World Cup, there is a screen for group viewing.

The festival runs June 27 to July 1.

World Pride

This year is the 33rd Pride Toronto parade since it started in 1981 as a protest to bathhouse raids.

The festival’s main draw is this Sunday between 2 and 4 p.m starting at Church Street and Bloor Street East. The parade marches south on Yonge Street ending at Dundas Street West.

READ MORE: Two Calgary Flames players to march in Toronto Pride parade

Canada Day Celebrations

It may just be a stereotype that Canadians love doughnuts, but on July 1, you can get them for free.

Von doughnuts will be handed out at Harbourfront centre between 1 and 6 p.m.

The celebrations also feature a dj set, a roller derby demo, a drumline, and more live bands.

Fireworks start at 10:40 p.m.

Jazz Fest

There’s still two more chances to hit up Toronto’s Jazz Fest. The festival ends Saturday, June 28.

The festival uses a pay-per-show format and there are plenty of options for those who prefer a no cover concert.

WATCH: Free weekend events in Toronto

Toronto Urban Photography Festival

The festival kicks off today at 918 Bathurst Street at 6-11 p.m. The festival runs at different venues until July 12.

The festival guide can be seen here.

Canada expands aid targets; no new money for foreign development – National

OTTAWA – The Harper government is expanding its foreign aid priority list by five countries, widening the pool of recipients to the level set by the previous Liberal government.

It has added the Philippines, Burma, Mongolia, Burkina Faso, Benin, Congo and Jordan to the list and dropped Pakistan and Bolivia.

However, the reshuffling of aid priorities is not accompanied by any new funds to cover the expansion of the list of target countries to 25 from 20.

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  • Canada cuts aid as other nations push assistance to all-time high

  • World leaders praise Harper for mom and child health efforts

READ MORE: Canada cuts aid as other nations push assistance to all-time high

Last month, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on Canada, along with its rich Western allies, to boost overall foreign aid spending to 0.7 per cent of gross domestic product from its current level of less than 0.3 per cent.

Development Minister Christian Paradis told The Canadian Press that the government will shuffle existing funds to cover priorities while putting in place new accountability measures to ensure the money is well spent.

“We will have to reshape things to make sure we do address the needs,” Paradis said in an exclusive interview.

He said the government will continue to pursue other sources of aid partnerships, including tapping into private corporations.

“We believe that we can unlock sleeping money in the private sector and philanthropists. We have to be proactive.”

The government shortened the list of priority countries to 20 in 2009 and drew fire for cutting several African recipients.

The new list includes Congo, where rape as a weapon of war has been criticized by Canada and many others.

READ MORE: World leaders praise Harper for mom and child health efforts

The new alignment jettisons Pakistan, a country that was the staging ground for al-Qaida attacks on Canadian troops based in Afghanistan. Canada ended its combat contribution to the Afghan mission in 2011 and withdrew the last of its military trainers in March.

“It’s no longer a focus because there is a lot of instability, huge security issues and we think that at this point, given the circumstances, we can concentrate on other places where we can make a real difference,” Paradis said. “We want to focus on results.”

As for adding Congo, Paradis said this aligns with the Canadian foreign policy priority of ending the forced marriage of young girls and the use of rape as a weapon of war.

New Democrat MP Paul Dewar, the Official Opposition’s foreign affairs critic, has for several years called on the government to recognize the carnage in Congo, which has claimed an estimated three million lives over the last decade.

Congo’s rich mineral deposits may have helped spark the conflict there, but Paradis said they also give the huge central African country its greatest hope.

“The needs are there, big time,” he said, noting that the country is among the lowest on the United Nations human development index.

“On the flip side, Congo has a lot of resources. So there’s a way to eradicate extreme poverty both with aid and after that, if they could focus on good governance and resource development.”

Iraq has also been added to a secondary list of development partners, countries that aren’t of primary focus, but that still receive some bilateral funding.

Paradis said Canada will continue to assess how it can make aid contributions there in light of the recent offensive by the al-Qaida Sunni militant offshoot, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

The Palestinian territories also retain their spot on the list, while the tiny desert kingdom of Jordan has been added for the first time.

Jordan has been inundated by a massive influx of refugees from the civil war in neighbouring Syria and has been the recipient of some major Canadian assistance in recent years to help it cope.

“Supposing the Syria crisis was going to end tomorrow, the region will have years to recover from this,” Paradis said.

“Even if you say this is a middle-income economy, well they have major, major challenges and this why we put them (Jordan) as a country of focus.”

©2014The Canadian Press

Canada’s Andrew Wiggins top of the class in 2014 NBA draft

Watch above: For the second year in a row, a Canadian was the number one draft pick in the NBA. Eric Sorensen has the story.

TORONTO – Andrew Wiggins’ swagger and confidence was apparent the moment he donned the much-talked-about black floral print suit and walked on stage to accept his throne as the 2014 No. 1 NBA draft pick.

“We just wanted to do something different, really stand out, try to win it on both ends, the stylish points and to come No. 1,” Wiggins said after shaking NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s hand Thursday night in Brooklyn.

The 19-year-old baller from Vaughan, Ont. was chosen first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers a year after the club selected fellow Canadian Anthony Bennett at the same top spot.

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Wiggins makes it four Canadians playing in Cleveland with forward Tristan Thompson of Brampton, Ont. picked fourth overall in 2011.

Power forward Dwight Powell, a native of Toronto who played four years in Stanford and was chosen by the Charlotte Hornets with the 45th pick, was traded to the Cavaliers along with veteran center Brendan Haywood in return for small forward Alonzo Gee.

READ MORE: Cavaliers win No. 1 lottery pick for second straight year

“I played with Tristan for a summer of AAU, and I played with Anthony for a while on the AAU circuit and on the national level too, so I’m just excited,” Wiggins said. “The chemistry is already there with those guys because I played with them already. I think big things are to come.”

Wiggins declared his eligibility for the NBA draft after spending just one year at the University of Kansas where some critics say he had an inconsistent season.

Regardless, many scouts believe his elite physical attributes and work ethic may just make him the best player Canada has ever produced.

“Going to high school and college, the opportunity and possibility of going No. 1 came into talk. And now I accomplished that, so it’s just a crazy feeling right now,” said Wiggins.

The six-foot-eight guard is genetically gifted with his father being a former NBA player and mother an Olympic sprinter.

Dad Mitchell and mom Marita were both on hand at the Barclays Center for their son’s shining moment.

“Especially because my parents were pro athletes before, now they can kind of live the dream again through me, and just watch their youngest son do something special with his life, and play at the highest level of basketball,” Wiggins said. “We cherish moments like this. It’s great, great for us.”

Wiggins joins a Maple-Leaf-clad 2014 class along with Nik Stauskas of Mississauga, Ont., who went eighth to the Sacramento Kings and Tyler Ennis of Brampton, Ont., selected 18th by the Phoenix Suns.

“It opens doors for all the youth in Canada, it gives them hope,” Wiggins said. “Coming up when I was in Canada, I wasn’t ranked, I wasn’t known. I didn’t really have any offers or anything like that. I just kept my head straight, kept working on my game, and look where I am today.

“I just think it gives everyone in Canada hope that they can do the same thing and accomplish whatever I do. Because it’s possible if they work hard.”

With files from The Canadian Press

The difficulty one man faced coming out as gay in his community – Toronto

For 29-year-old Daniel Pillai it has been a long journey finding his identity as a gay man.

He grew up surrounded by South Asian culture and tradition – things he followed and respected – but still felt something was missing.

“Somewhere around grade 11 I realized they were South Indians from the Fiji Islands and then later in my life I realized I was gay. So I was having an identity crisis,” he said.

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“I didn’t look at my identity separate from my parents and culture. There really wasn’t anybody I could have a conversation with in my family.”

Pillai said he knew he was different from the rest of his family as an early age. He often tried to explore his identity through dance and dressing up in his mother’s clothes.

“Whether it was dressing up in my mom’s clothes and dancing to Madhuri Dixit songs or dancing at a wedding or a party, [my father] was very embarrassed,” Pillai said.

Pillai said being different certainly made him stand out, both at home and in the school yard.

“They surrounded me in the soccer field during recess. They bullied me and eventually these four girls got the entire school, they just kind of surrounded me and I was alone in the centre being humiliated,” Pillai said. There was a lot of bullying in my own family when it came to my sexuality. We know who you are without me knowing who I actually was.”

Not understanding his own identity led Pilliai down a road of inner exploration. He needed to know what was right for him, rather than what was right for his family.

“It was an evolution. I woke up one day and I said I am gay and I’m going to tell my mom,” he said.

“She ‎said I will always love you, but cried herself to sleep that night, not because I was gay, but she had no idea what was happening.”

His mother wasn’t upset he was gay, Pillai said. Instead she was concerned about what her family might say.

“’My son is telling me he is gay. I know that is not accepted in society. What will my brothers and sisters think?’ She was clouded by a lot of fear,” Pillai said. “My dad, he didn’t really listen. We haven’t really spoken about it.”

Pillai was 25-years-old when he told his family he was gay. He is happy now, with a budding career as an entertainment journalist and a new love for life.

“The last four years have been very freeing. I was a prisoner in my own world. Really coming out was my own choice. When you learn to accept yourself first, that love just radiates and you attract like minded people,” he said.

Pillai said he is proud to celebrate with WorldPride in Toronto, not just with the LGBT community but everyone.

“That rainbow flag is not just representing the different sexuality – it celebrates diversity‎,” Pillai said. “When I told my parents I was gay… it was an absolute and it would not change our relationship.”

Hundreds of fans turn out at VGH to support Gino Odjick

WATCH ABOVE: Fans gather outside hospital in flash mob for Gino Odjick

VANCOUVER – Hundreds of fans showed up at Vancouver General Hospital this afternoon to offer cheers of support for former Vancouver Canucks player Gino Odjick, who is fighting a rare terminal heart disease.

The 43-year-old former Canuck was wheeled outside to greet the crowd as they chanted “GINO, GINO, GINO!”

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On Thursday night the Vancouver Canucks posted a letter from Gino to his fans saying he is in the biggest fight of his life.

Just two months ago, he was diagnosed with AL amyloidosis, a condition that causes abnormal protein to be produced and deposited on the heart. It is hardening his heart and doctors have told him he may only have months or even weeks to live.

“In my heart, I will always be a Canuck and I have always had a special relationship here with the fans. Your “Gino, Gino” cheers were my favourite. I wish I could hear them again. You have been amazing,” wrote Gino in the letter.

Now fans have decided he will hear those cheers again while he is battling the disease from his hospital bed.

WATCH: Close to 300 people turn up to VGH to offer support.

Another event has also been planned for Sunday, July 13, at 11 a.m. also at Vancouver General Hospital.

“I am inviting all Canucks fans to join me in a rally outside Vancouver General Hospital where Gino is being treated right now for a “Gino!” chant,” wrote the organizer.

WATCH: Odjick fondly remembered in Vancouver

Thoughts and prayers have been pouring in on social media for the fan favourite.

The Vancouver Canucks have also released a tribute video to Gino:

There are three ways that you can help and send your support to Gino as well.

Send your Wishes to Gino on a special website set up for him.Donate to support the “Gino Strong Fund” which supports travel costs for Gino’s kids and members of the Odjick family to travel to Vancouver to be with GinoDonations to support aboriginal youth education and wellness initiatives can also be made through the Canucks for Kids Fund

Do you know of any other events going on for Gino? Let us know in the comments.

Canada’s military needs to do more to improve mental health care, say MPs – National

OTTAWA – The Canadian Forces have made great strides in dealing with combat injuries, but must do more to help soldiers and their families deal with mental health issues, a Commons committee reported Friday.

The all-party defence committee said the military should conduct rigorous mental health screening of recruits and train soldiers to assess their own mental health.

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It also said more should be done to educate military families about mental health issues before soldiers deploy, and should get more training about so-called operational stress injuries before they are sent into the field.

SPECIAL SERIES: Global News spoke with five current and former members of the Canadian Forces, each with post-traumatic stress disorder. What they revealed amounts to a crisis in the military. READ THEIR STORIES HERE.

“Although resiliency and readiness training may not prevent every member from developing an OSI, the committee believes the programs are of benefit particularly in de-stigmatizing the subject of mental health and encouraging members needing treatment to self-identify and seek treatment early,” the report said.

Military medicine deals well with combat injuries, witnesses told the committee. In Afghanistan, a wounded soldier who still had vital signs on arrival at the multinational hospital in Kandahar had a 97 per cent chance of survival.

READ MORE: Veteran’s wife makes impassioned plea for increased help from feds 

Hans Jung, a former surgeon-general to the Canadian Forces, told the committee it’s the highest survival rate in the history of warfare.

However, more emphasis must be placed on mental health, and more should be done to help ex-soldiers make the shift to civilian life, said the report, which includes 32 recommendations.

And it said the government should fund research into military medical issues, including the handling of brain injuries.

READ MORE: ‘More than 200′ military members share stories of mental illness: DND

The report noted that progress has been made in recent years, but some soldiers who served in the past missed out on those benefits.

“The committee acknowledges that the CAF has come a long way over the last decade with regard to resiliency training and mental readiness. It was, however, distressing to hear from family members that their loved ones serving in uniform may not have had access to such training given that it was unavailable until a few years ago.

“There are, no doubt, many others who are also victims of timing and past insufficiencies.”

©2014The Canadian Press

Top 10 reasons why Canada is awesome – National

TORONTO – As we celebrate Canada’s 147 birthday, Global News takes a look at the Top 10 reasons why our country is so awesome (not that you needed a list).

We suggest you stand up, remove your hat and hum the national anthem while reading this post.

10. Our balls are bigger

Football in Canada is much different than any other country. Our field is longer and wider than American football fields. We play with a larger ball. Fewer downs to try to score. Oh, and we also use our hands, unlike the European version of football where players kick a round ball down a grass field.

9. We invented basketball

Thanks to James Naismith, a McGill University phys-ed teacher, Canada can lay claim to inventing the sport of basketball. Naismith invented the sport in 1891 while working at a U.S. college. Although Canada is best known for producing some of the world’s best hockey players, our country has been showcasing our home-grown talent in the NBA. For the second consecutive year, a Canadian was selected first overall in the NBA draft — Anthony Bennett in 2013 and Andrew Wiggins in 2014.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, left, congratulates Andrew Wiggins who was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers as the number one pick in the 2014 NBA draft, Thursday, June 26, 2014, in New York.

AP Photo/Jason DeCrow

8. We legalized same-sex marriage ages ago

Canada legalized same-sex marriage almost nine years ago while many countries were still debating the issue. The Canadian government legalized same-sex marriage on July 20, 2005, becoming the fourth country to do so.

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.


7. Poutine

Many Canadians enjoy the savoury taste of French fries, gravy and cheese curds all piled together in a heaping platter of goodness. Enough said.

Bourbon Street Baron of Beef Poutine.

Supplied, K-Days

6. We are patriotic

From sewing flags on our backpacks and putting a beaver on our nickels to belting out the national anthem for a free beer, we Canadians are very patriotic. According to a 2008 survey, Canada is the sixth most patriotic country in the world.

5. We are funny!

Canada has produced some very well-known comedians: Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Eugene Levy, Martin Short, Seth Rogan and Will Arnett. Just to name a few.

4. Canada is big and beautiful

All 9.98 million square kilometres of it. As the second largest country in the world, Canada boasts endless lakes and rivers. We have access to three oceans, and we boast one of the few places in the world you can ski and surf (outside) in the same day.

Banff, Alberta, Canada


3. Music

Canadians make music that’s heard all over the world. From Paul Anka to Justin Bieber, this country knows how to make music that sells. We’re well represented by such diverse artists as Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Celine Dion, Shania Twain, David Foster, Bryan Adams, Deadmau5, Michael Buble, k.d. lang, Gordon Lightfoot, Avril Lavigne, Sarah McLachlan, Drake and Anne Murray.

Canadian singer and host of the 2013 Juno Awards Michael Buble speaks to the media before the 2013 Juno Awards in Regina on Saturday, April 20, 2013.

Nathan Denette / The Canadian Press

2. Attractive cities

In a recent survey Toronto was named the fourth most attractive city in the world. It was the only Canadian city to make the list. The annual survey from PwC ranked 30 destinations worldwide for several factors including education and technology, quality of life,  ease of doing business, health and safety, economic clout, and transport. Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Quebec City and Montreal have consistently ranked high in past world surveys.

1. There’s no one reason why Canada is awesome

But this pretty much sums it up.

Happy birthday, Canada!

-with files from John R. Kennedy and  Irene Ogrodnik

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Supreme Court rules Walmart broke Quebec labour code by closing store – Montreal

MONTREAL – The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that Walmart violated Quebec’s labour code when it closed a store in Jonquiere, Quebec after workers tried to unionize it.

A decision that some experts believe could have ramifications for the rest of the country.

“Walmart may be able to close stores again but they will have to pay (we will see by how much) and this may have a positive impact on unionizing,” Robert Hebdon told Global News.

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Hebdon is a professor in McGill University’s Faculty of Management and specializes in organizational behaviour and industrial relations. He said the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision could have implications for all of Canada.

“All Canadian labour laws have a provision that provides for a freeze on conditions during a union recognition drive, thus I think this decision does have implications for the rest of Canada,” he said.

“Closure should be intrepreted as a change in conditions and thus contrary to all Canadian labour laws.”

In August 2004, the Quebec store was the first Walmart to unionize in North America.

When the collective bargaining dispute was ordered to arbitration, Walmart announced that it would close the store, citing financial reasons.

Quebec employees, represented by United Food and Commercial Workers Union Canada, said that the retailer made the decision after they exercised their right to organize, and demanded to be reinstated.

In 2009, Canada’s top court defended the company’s right to close the store, and refused an appeal by Walmart employees.

The company now owes compensation to the workers, which has not yet been determined.

However, Hebdon suggested it could be considerable.

“I would not be surprised if was quite large taking into account retroactivity and interest costs.”