Quebec entrepreneurs hope to add positive touch to Oscar nominees’ gift bags

MONTREAL—Along with luxury vacations, diamond bracelets and personal training sessions, celebrities who receive unofficial gift bags at the Oscars this year will also get a modest offering from Quebec. The famously over-the-top swag bags, whose value usually runs in the six figures, is distributed annually by a Los Angeles-based marketing company to the nominees in the best actor, actress, supporting actor and actress and best director categories. This year, the bag will contain a “Positive Cube,” a small wooden box produced by Quebec-based company Bangarang. The boxes contain 199 cards, each bearing a positive or inspirational saying. “With the mission, we have of spreading the positive and supporting worthy causes, I think that touches people, so we’ll see,” she said.

February 26, 2017 03:33 UTC

Youth charged with second-degree murder after Kawartha Lakes fire kills one

Ontario Provincial Police have charged a youth with second-degree murder after a fire at a teenage group home in the Kawartha Lakes area killed one person. An autopsy was held Saturday and the deceased has been identified, but police said they were unable to release any details about the victim because they are obliged to protect the charged youth’s identity under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Police initially responded to a call for a disturbance at the youth facility, located at 725 Quaker Rd in Oakwood, at 4:30 p.m. on Friday. When they arrived, they found the building on fire and called in assistance from the local fire department and paramedics. The facility is run by Connor Homes, which operates multiple foster-care homes and other facilities for mental-health services across Ontario.

February 26, 2017 03:26 UTC

Last BlackBerry-designed QWERTY phone to hit stores in April

Fans of BlackBerry’s classic physical keyboard will have reason to celebrate when the last product designed in part by the former smartphone leader becomes available in April. The Waterloo-based firm played a role in developing the KEYone, named for the return of the QWERTY keyboard that other smartphone designers have mostly long retired. “BlackBerry did have something to say about the industrial design,” said Steve Cistulli, president of the North American division of TCL Communication Technology Holdings. Cistulli said TCT will manufacture and sell the smartphone in Canada and several other countries as part of its partnership with BlackBerry. The deal allows the company to design, manufacture and sell BlackBerry-branded smartphones that operate using the technology firm’s security software.

February 26, 2017 03:14 UTC

Habs claim 14th straight victory over Leafs with Shaw's OT winner

"Desperate" hockey helped the teetering Montreal Canadiens score a big two points on Saturday night. The victory offered the sputtering Habs some much-needed cushioning in an increasingly tight Atlantic Division. "I thought we played very desperate hockey tonight and responded well from our previous game," said Price, who stopped an Auston Matthews breakaway and hat-trick attempt moments before Shaw's game winner. It was just the third win in the last 11 games (3-7-1) for the Canadiens and second under new head coach Claude Julien (2-2-0). The Leafs were playing without Mitch Marner and Tyler Bozak (hand), the former missing his fifth straight game with an apparent right shoulder injury.

February 26, 2017 03:05 UTC

Matthews, Leafs fall to Canadiens in OT

Auston Matthews scored both Toronto goals — the only goals of the first and third periods. But one hurdle they can’t seem to make it over is the Montreal Canadiens. Against good players, they’ll catch you.”The Maple Leafs were without three key players at the same time for the first time this season. The Leafs have scored just three goals over their last two games — overtime and shootout losses. The last time the Maple Leafs beat Montreal was Jan. 18, 2014 — powered by goals from the likes of Joffrey Lupul and Mason Raymond.

February 26, 2017 02:55 UTC

Man in critical condition after stabbing in downtown Montreal

A 27-year-old man is in critical condition after being stabbed in downtown Montreal on Saturday night. Benoit Boisselle said a 911 call came in around 8:10 p.m. and reported a man may have been stabbed during an armed assault near the intersection of Berri Street and de Maisonneuve Boulevard. Police searched the area for the victim but found he had already been taken to a hospital. "He is in critical condition right now and we fear for his life," said Boisselle, adding he had major injuries to his upper body caused by a sharp weapon. A perimeter has been set up at the intersection and police investigators have begun looking over the crime scene.

February 26, 2017 02:53 UTC

Transgender boy wins girls state wrestling title amid controversy

Mack Beggs, top, a transgender high school wrestler, competes in a quarterfinal match against Mya Engert during the Texas state wrestling tournament on Friday. Beggs was born a girl and is transitioning to male but wrestles in the girls division. ( Melissa Phillip / The Associated Press )CYPRESS, TEXAS—A 17-year-old transgender boy completed an undefeated season Saturday by winning a Texas state girls wrestling title made controversial by criticism from those who believe the testosterone he’s taking as he transitions from female to male created an unfair advantage. The family of Mack Beggs has said he would rather be wrestling boys, but state policy calls for students to wrestle against the gender listed on their birth certificates. Beggs, who reached the state tournament after two opponents forfeited, was dogged throughout the event by questions about whether his testosterone treatments made him too strong to wrestle fairly against girls.

February 26, 2017 02:37 UTC

Turkish couple arrested by Surrey RCMP after crossing into B.C. illegally

Surrey RCMP says it has turned two Turkish citizens — a man and a woman — over to Citizenship and Immigration Canada after they were arrested by officers on Saturday for entering B.C. "The two were detained under the Immigration Act and were cooperative with police," said Surrey RCMP in a release. Surrey RCMP says officers deal with illegal crossings at B.C. Refugee claims on the rise? Land border refugee claims for the Pacific region for the past four years are:

February 26, 2017 02:37 UTC

Man says he was racially profiled by security guard in Calgary Walmart

University of Calgary student Jean Ventose says a security guard started following him while he was buying headphones from the electronics section of a local Walmart store. A man who was followed by a security guard in a Calgary Walmart, and posted a video of it on Facebook, says he believes he was racially profiled while shopping. In the video, Jean Ventose, a University of Calgary student, says the security guard started following him while he was buying headphones from the electronics section of the store. “Why were you standing there pretending you were going to buy headphones? Why don’t you follow somebody else who’s going to steal something?” Ventose says to the guard in the video.

February 26, 2017 02:27 UTC

Dozens injured after car plows into Mardi Gras crowd in New Orleans

Police Chief Michael Harrison said the suspect is being investigated for driving while intoxicated. A woman talks on a phone at the scene of where a truck slammed into a crowd and other vehicles. (Gerald Herbert/Associated Press)Among the injured was one New Orleans police officer. Harrison said the officer, who was on duty, was undergoing tests to determine the extent of her injuries. As police and city officials were assessing the accident scene, people were streaming home as plastic bags that used to hold trinkets and discarded beads littered the ground.

February 26, 2017 02:15 UTC

Meet the new guys: Canucks youngsters get their chance following mumps outbreak

That's the situation Saturday night for four new Vancouver Canucks call-ups. Grenier is the leading scorer so far this season for the Utica Comets, the Canucks' minor league affiliate. Vancouver Canucks' Jordan Subban warms up at the NHL rookie tournament in Penticton, B.C. The absences hit the team hard as the Canucks fight to remain in contention for making the post-season. The team has won only three of its last ten games going into Saturday's contest against the division-leading San Jose Sharks.

February 26, 2017 01:50 UTC

Speedskater Vincent De Haitre busts Canadian record in 1,000 metres at world sprint championships

The first two races — in the 500 metres and 1,000 metres — took place Saturday with the final two races scheduled for Sunday. The world record is held by American Shani Davis, who stopped the clock in 1:06.49 back in 2009 in Salt Lake City. She sits in 13th place heading into Day 2 after finishing eighth in the 500 metres (37.66 seconds) and 18th in the 1,000 metres (1:15.78). With the win, Thompson locked up the 2016/17 Crystal Globe awarded to the World Cup overall champion in ski cross. Also on the slopes Saturday, Manny Osborne-Paradis, of Invermere, B.C., finished fourth at a World Cup downhill in Kvitfjell, Norway.

February 26, 2017 01:39 UTC

Snowfall warning issued for Fraser Valley, East Vancouver Island

Environment Canada has issued snowfall warnings for the Fraser Valley and East Vancouver Island. "A low pressure system will track southward, just off the Coast," said the agency in a release about Saturday night. Environment Canada also issued a special weather statement for:Mixed precipitation is expected in these regions, with snow, up to 5 centimetres, a possibility. Dust advisory in effect for VernonMeanwhile Environment Canada has also issued a special air quality statement for the North Okanagan. It says stagnant winter weather conditions are creating elevated pollution levels and that vulnerable people should postpone strenuous exercise until conditions change.

February 26, 2017 01:07 UTC

Vincent De Haitre shatters Canadian record in 1,000 at worlds

Vincent De Haitre had been convinced that he could shatter the Canadian 1,000-metre record for years. "It's always mixed [emotions] when you have a record and you'd like to keep it," said Wotherspoon, 40. De Haitre is second going into Sunday's races — champions are determined by cumulative ranking — trailing Kjeld Nuis of the Netherlands. 'He's definitely a guy to watch'"He's really comfortable at speed, so I think that's a good thing for him," said Wotherspoon. He's definitely a guy to watch.

February 26, 2017 00:56 UTC

Trump plans to skip White House press dinner

U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Saturday that he would not attend the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner, a high-profile event that draws celebrities, politicians and journalists. "I will not be attending the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this year. I will not be attending the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this year. On Friday, the White House excluded several major news organizations — including some it has criticized — from an off-camera briefing held by the White House press secretary. Trump and his wife Melania Trump arrive for the White House Correspondents Dinner in Washington in April 2011, where then-president Barack Obama delivered a scathing evisceration of Trump.

February 26, 2017 00:08 UTC

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