‘Booze on the beach’ now permanent in Penticton, B.C.

Feel like having a beer on the beach in Penticton? In mid-February?

You can do that now.

On Tuesday, city council upgraded a bylaw regarding the public consumption of alcohol at select parks and beaches. The upgrades included changing it to year-round instead of just during tourist season.

Colloquially known as ‘booze on the beach,’ the Responsible Liquor Consumption in Designated Public Places bylaw was first introduced in 2020 as a way to support the alcohol industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A map showing areas in Penticton, B.C., where the public consumption of alcohol is allowed at select parks and beaches.

A map showing areas in Penticton, B.C., where the public consumption of alcohol is allowed at select parks and beaches.

City of Penticton

“The initial year was very positively received and continued for 2021 and 2022 as pilot years,” Blake Laven, the city’s director of development services, told city council.

“And similarly, in both those years, the program was very well received with few negative incidents.”

Laven added that the program has “strong branding” and “plays off the Love Local theme.”

“It differentiates Penticton from other Okanagan destinations. While there are some communities in the province that have similar programs, Penticton is the only Okanagan community currently doing this.”

City staff also suggested expanding the area and slightly increasing the overall hours from eight to nine, with council agreeing to change the end time to 9 p.m., up from 8 p.m.

Council agreed to all of the suggestions, with the bylaw being unanimously passed.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Christina Applegate hints at retiring from acting as she battles MS

WATCH: Actor Christina Applegate revealed that she’s been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Christina Applegate revealed that she may not be returning to set in the near future as her multiple sclerosis (MS) progresses. The Married with Children alum was diagnosed with the chronic autoimmune disease back in 2021.

In a profile with the Los Angeles Times, Applegate said that the upcoming Screen Actors Guild Awards will be her “last awards show as an actor probably, so it’s kind of a big deal.”

Applegate is nominated for outstanding performance by a female actor in a comedy series for her role as Jen Harding in the dark Netflix show Dead to Me. 

MS is a degenerative disease that attacks the central nervous system. It can affect vision, memory, balance and mobility and common symptoms include muscle stiffness, vertigo and cognitive impairment. Currently, there is no cure, according to the MS Society of Canada.

Applegate told the LA Times that she plans to continue working on producing and developing, but acting on-set may be out of the question given her current condition.

“Right now, I couldn’t imagine getting up at 5 a.m. and spending 12 to 14 hours on a set; I don’t have that in me at this moment,” she said, though Applegate does plan on “doing a sh-t ton of voice-overs to make some cash to make sure that my daughter’s fed and we’re homed.”

Applegate previously revealed that she requires a cane to walk.

Applegate revealed her MS diagnosis in August 2021, while shooting Dead to Me’s third and final season. The show had to take a break from shooting after Applegate began to experience “leg pain and tremors,” leading to her diagnosis.

The actor insisted on returning to finish the season, even as the disease progressed, which proved to be a vulnerable experience.

“I was a wreck every day, but most of that wreck would take place in my trailer by myself,” Applegate said. “But there were times I’d break down on set and be like, ‘I can’t, we have to take a break, I need a half-hour,’ and everyone was so loving that it was OK.”

Applegate spoke about how meaningful it was to act alongside co-star and friend Linda Cardellini, who plays Judy Hale in the Netflix comedy, saying that sometimes the “set would disappear.”

“Everyone kind of disappeared, and it was the two of us as best friends, supporting each other, loving each other and saying goodbye to each other. I’d like to say there was skill involved, but really, Linda and I just disappeared.”

The final season of Dead to Me aired in November 2022, but Applegate said it took her “months” before she was able to watch it.

“I don’t like seeing myself struggling,” she told the LA Times. “Also, I gained 40 pounds because of inactivity and medications, and I didn’t look like myself, and I didn’t feel like myself.”

“At some point, I was able to distance myself from my own ego and realize what a beautiful piece of television it was. All the scenes I wasn’t in were so much fun to see and experience for the very first time,” she added.

Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world, with an estimated 90,000 Canadians living with the disease, according to the MS Society. About 12 Canadians are diagnosed with MS every day.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Student injured after altercation involving scissors at Roseneath Centennial Public School

A student suffered minor injuries after an altercation with another student brandishing scissors at Roseneath Centennial Public School in Roseneath, Ont.

According to a letter issued Tuesday by principal Mary Jane Corradetti, on Monday a student brought a pair of scissors onto the schoolyard at the beginning of the school day.

“Following a dispute with another student, (the student) used them to harm the student,” said Corradetti.

She said when staff were made aware of the incident, the scissors were seized and “action was taken to ensure the safety of students.”

She did not indicate the age or grades of the student and victim. Located on County Road 45, about 30 kilometres north of Cobourg, the school serves more than 190 students ranging from kindergarten to Grade 8.

She says the investigation continues and is being addressed to ensure ongoing student safety.

Corradetti said the student was harmed and as part of the school’s response, it is working with the victim’s family to provide “follow-up resources and support.”

“As always, the safety and well-being of our students is, and continues to be, our highest priority,” the letter concludes.

Northumberland OPP said officers attended the school but would not provide further details “given the age of the parties involved.”

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

NHL's wild Western Conference still up for grabs as playoff race heats up

WATCH ABOVE: Some recent videos from the world of hockey.

Nathan MacKinnon still sees a path to the top.

Such is Western Conference life in 2022-23.

MacKinnon and his Colorado Avalanche — the reigning Stanley Cup champions pummeled by injuries in the first half of NHL the schedule — currently sit right at the playoff cutline.

But unlike the East, where the Boston Bruins have separated themselves from the pack, the West remains relatively wide open with just a 10-point gap between the conference’s top seed and the second wild-card spot eight rungs below.

“We can definitely come out of the West again,” MacKinnon said during the NHL’s all-star festivities in South Florida. “We need to get some healthy bodies, but I feel like it’s definitely there for the taking.”

READ MORE: NHL all-star festivities netted some surprising results for Proline bettors

The Dallas Stars led the conference with 68 points, three up on the Winnipeg Jets and four better than the Vegas Golden Knights, heading into Wednesday’s action.

At the other end of the table’s top-8, the Edmonton Oilers occupy the first wild-card with 62 points — four better than Colorado and the Calgary Flames.

The Avalanche are also even with the Minnesota Wild for third in the Central Division behind Dallas and Winnipeg.

“A great sprint to the end,” Stars head coach Peter DeBoer predicted. “There’s a lot of teams — including us — that really have to find another level.”

Calgary Flames' Tyler Toffoli (73) and Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid (97) battle for the puck during second period pre-season action in Edmonton on Friday, September 30, 2022.

Calgary Flames' Tyler Toffoli (73) and Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid (97) battle for the puck during second period pre-season action in Edmonton on Friday, September 30, 2022.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Edmonton captain Connor McDavid said the salary cap ensures tight races every year.

“That’s what the league wants,” said the NHL’s overall leader in goals and points. “They want parity. Well, they definitely got it in the West.

“Seems teams are going on seven-game winning streaks, and then the next week they’re losing three and four in a row.”

“It seems to be pretty wildly up and down.”

READ MORE: Edmonton Oilers motor to victory in Detroit with 5-2 win over Red Wings

Vegas Golden head coach Bruce Cassidy’s club endured a recent 2-6-2 stretch to tumble down the Pacific Division standings following a torrid start.

“It’s game on,” he said. “I don’t think you can have a bad stretch. We’re in one right now that we’ve got to work our way out of. But it’s good for hockey and it keeps you on your toes.

“It’s probably more normal for most teams to have to play well down the stretch to get in.”

Dallas forward Jason Robertson likened it to last season when the East’s top-8 seeds were realistically set months before the playoffs as a fight down to the wire waged in the West.

“Hard-fought conference,” Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck added. “You’ve got to dig in.”

Boston is cemented at the top of the Atlantic Division, while the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning appear set to once again meet in the first round of the playoffs. In the Metropolitan Division, the Carolina Hurricanes have a decent cushion on the second-place New Jersey Devils, who are comfortably in the No. 2 slot.

Boston, Carolina, New Jersey, Toronto and Tampa all have better records than West-leading Dallas based on points percentage.

Calgary centre Nazem Kadri said a West playoff race with all sorts of scenarios on the table will make for appointment viewing.

“The most fun that way,” he said. “We haven’t even played close to our best. That’s a positive sign.”

Oilers centre Leo Draisaitl is looking for his group to make a second-half push to create separation.

“You’d like to be the team to nail that down a little bit,” he said. “It’s open, but I think we’re gonna be the (one) that’s gonna close it down.”

MacKinnon feels the same about his championship-calibre group.

And once the West’s is set, the road to the Stanley Cup final should be equally wide-open as the East’s heavyweights slug it out on the opposite side of the playoff bracket.

“We can actually still win the West — somehow,” MacKinnon said. “We get hot, we could win it.”

© 2023 The Canadian Press

Freezing rain forecast for Barrie area Thursday

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for parts of southern Ontario Thursday, including Barrie, Midland and Orillia, with freezing rain in the forecast.

The national weather agency said freezing rain followed by heavy rainfall and strong winds is possible starting Thursday morning.

Freezing rain with light ice accretion is possible with rainfall amounts of 15 to 25 mm possible, the weather agency said.

Environment Canada is also expecting southwesterly winds gusting 60 to 80 km/h.

The freezing rain risk appears most likely for areas over higher terrain, the weather agency said.

The rain is expected to taper to showers by Thursday evening.

Gusty southwesterly winds are expected Thursday afternoon into early Thursday evening, according to the weather agency.

Environment Canada warns that travel conditions may become hazardous due to icy and slippery roads and walkways.

High winds may toss loose objects or cause tree branches to break, and isolated utility outages are possible.

The weather agency also warns that localized flooding may occur in areas of poor drainage.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Regina police ask for help finding 10-year-old, last seen boarding city bus

The Regina police are asking for the public’s help in locating a missing 10-year-old, last seen getting on a city bus in the 2000 block of Greer Court in Regina.

Nevaih Bigsky was last seen at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

Bigsky is described as five-foot-six with a thin build, shoulder-length brown hair and brown eyes.

She was last seen wearing a cream-coloured sweater, red sweatpants, grey Champion hat, red and white shoes, and a grey Champion fanny pack.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Bigsky or seeing a person matching the description is asked to contact Regina Police Service at 306-777-6500 or Regina Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Manitoba sets rescheduled date for pre-budget consultation in Winnipeg

A pre-budget consultation meeting postponed the same day Manitoba’s finance minister announced he would be stepping down has been rescheduled for next week.

The meeting — originally slated for Jan. 30 in Winnipeg — will now be held Feb. 13, the government said Wednesday.

Former finance minister Cameron Friesen announced he would be stepping down to run for a seat in the House of Commons Jan. 27.

Friesen said his departure wouldn’t affect budget preparations, but the government postponed the Winnipeg meeting later the same day. A meeting in Steinbach Jan. 31 was still set to go ahead.

A new finance minister, Cliff Cullen, was sworn in at a ceremony held at the Manitoba legislative building on Jan. 30.

Friesen, meanwhile, has said he will seek the federal Conservative nomination in the riding of Portage-Lisgar, where current MP Candice Bergen has said she would not seek re-election.

The rescheduled, in-person pre-budget consultation meeting will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Pam Room at Winnipeg’s RBC Convention Centre.

Those interested in taking part can register before Feb. 12 on the province’s website.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

'We have to move quickly': Health workers urge premiers to accept Ottawa's health deal

WATCH: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended what he called a "significant injection" of funding into the health-care system in the proposed plan he put forward to the country's premiers on Tuesday.

As premiers mull their response to the Liberal government’s multibillion-dollar health funding proposal, health-care workers are urging government leaders to work quickly to finalize a deal.

Dr. Alika Lafontaine, president of the Canadian Medical Association, says every day that goes by without an agreement on tangible improvements to the health system is a day in which Canadian patients are waiting without the care they need, and health-care workers are left to labour within an underfunded system.

“Time is not on our side,” Lafontaine told Global News.

“Every moment that we wait is another moment that patients come to harm and suffer, and it’s another moment that providers experience burnout and then consider whether or not what they’re doing is really making a difference.”

The significant pressures within Canada’s health system should have been addressed more urgently months ago, he added, which is why he hopes high-level talks between governments keep at the forefront the needs of patients and health workers most affected by a “crisis” in health care.

“The deterioration of health systems has spread in such a way that it’s touching the lives of every Canadian, and for that reason, we have to move quickly.”

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with all 13 of Canada’s premiers in Ottawa to present a plan worth $196.1 billion over 10 years, including $46.2 billion in new money for health care.

The proposed financial package includes a number of elements, including a $17-billion increase to the annual Canada Health Transfer over five years and $25 billion in new money for 10-year bilateral deals that would be negotiated individually with each province and territory.

These bilateral agreements would be tailored to each region’s specific needs, but focused on four key areas, including: improved access to family health services; addressing health worker shortages through recruitment, retention, training and improved mobility and recognition of credentials; better access to mental health and substance use treatment; and modernizing the health system through improved collection and sharing of health data.

To access these new funding streams, provinces will have to agree to target the money for measures that support these priority areas with action plans to improve transparency in how the funds are spent.

Lafontaine said he was pleased to see these conditions attached to Ottawa’s funding offer, noting that many of the key priorities identified by the federal government are ones for which the CMA has been advocating for improvements for some time.

“In our opinion, those shared priorities are the right things … elements like a national data strategy and also encouraging provinces and territories to move towards recognition of credentials as a path towards free mobility of physicians and other health providers across the country – I think it’s the right move,” he said.

The real question is whether provinces will accept the terms of the bilateral agreements and, if they do, whether the money spent will manifest in improvements on the front lines, Lafontaine added.

In a press conference Tuesday afternoon, some premiers indicated they would need time to digest the details and what they would mean for individual provinces and territories.

Tim Guest, CEO of the Canadian Nurses Association, also expressed optimism about the funding package presented to the premiers, especially in its focus on specific priorities that could improve access to care, reduce wait times for patients and deal with staffing shortages.

Nurses have been sounding the alarm about the strains in the health system for some time, and as their calls for help have gone unheeded, many have left the workforce – an exodus that has only made things worse, he said.

Nurses in Canada would like to see more urgency from government leaders in addressing the problems in the system, which means coming to an agreement on these health funding negotiations soon, Guest said.

“We are already seeing the public’s reaction to the deterioration of the system with lack of access, increased wait times, and I think the public (is) already saying what their expectations are,” he said.

“So, I’m really hopeful that all levels of government will come together and put politics aside and work collaboratively for the betterment of the health system, for the betterment of the health workforce and for the betterment of those living in Canada that need the system.”

Doris Grinspun, CEO of the Nurses Association of Ontario, says she, too, was pleased to see the priority areas identified by the federal government and that improvements in these areas will be tied to funding increases.

With a nationwide shortage of nurses contributing to a “crisis” in the health system, the hope is that more targeted investments will start to ease pressures and improve working conditions for health-care staff and access to care for patients, she said.

“I am hopeful about the money and I’m hopeful that the government will see fit to launch improvements for the nursing profession, to launch nurse practitioner clinics and other improvements to primary care,” Grinspun said.

“I think that it’s very easy to only criticize and find shortfalls in what happened yesterday. Nurses are choosing to say, ‘Yes, we need more, but let’s get moving with what is in there.’”

Federal officials are demonstrating they do not want to waste time, with Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos saying Tuesday he will begin writing to provinces and territories immediately to ask whether they will accept the funding deal.

And, even as some premiers expressed initial disappointment on Tuesday, some have since signalled a willingness to accept the offer.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his provincial health minister, Sylvia Jones, will meet with Duclos and Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc on Thursday to start negotiations.

Ford said Wednesday that Ontario will agree to the deal but is concerned about the length of the funding being offered by Ottawa.

“I’m confident we’ll get the Ts crossed, the Is dotted,” Ford said.

“We’re grateful for the offer. We’re grateful for sitting down with the prime minister, but we want sustainability. We need certainty moving forward, not just for a few years, five or 10 years, but decades to come.”

Quebec Premier Francois Legault expressed disappointment that Ottawa’s offer did not meet the demands of the premiers to increase federal funding of health care costs to 35 per cent from the current 22 per cent.

He pledged to continue to fight for more, but noted that Trudeau did not indicate a willingness to budge on the amounts offered.

“We got one-sixth of what we were asking for, so it’s better than nothing but it’s not enough, for sure,” Legault told reporters Wednesday.

– with files from Global News’ Katherine Ward and The Canadian Press 

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Guelph police say woman was assaulted over ex-boyfriend's debt

A woman has been assaulted over her ex-boyfriend’s debt problems, police say.

The Guelph Police Service was called to an apartment complex on Waterloo Avenue around 8 p.m. Tuesday on reports of a woman being assaulted.

Investigators say the woman told officers that a man she knew approached her in the stairwell of the complex.

They say the woman was struck with a metal pipe and grabbed by the throat while the man demanded that she pay money owed to him by her ex.

Investigators say the man fled on foot before officers arrived but was later located and arrested.

They say the woman did not sustain any injuries.

A 39-year-old man from Guelph is facing charges of assault with a weapon, forcible confinement, choking and breaching a court order.

He was being held for a bail hearing on Wednesday.

 

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Police warn public after possible 'hazardous substance' found in Toronto's High Park

Police are warning the public after a possibly hazardous substance was found in Toronto’s High Park.

Toronto police said on Tuesday, officers received a report of what appeared to be dog food and patches of blue snow along the fence line of the off-leash area of the park.

Police said the majority of the food and blue snow was in the forest regeneration zone, which is fenced off and separate from the off-leash area.

“However, some of the dog food and a few patches of blue snow were also found within the ‘off-leash’ area,” police said.

Officers said samples of the dog food and snow have been sent to Health Canada for testing as a precaution.

According to police, the rest of the dog food and blue snow was cleaned up by Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation.

Officers said there have been no reports of sick animals in the area.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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