BMW owns Alphabet.com and has no plans to give it up to Google – National

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TORONTO – It seems Google should have done some more Googling when it came to picking a name for their new holding company, Alphabet Inc.

On Monday, Google announced a radically different operating structure under the new name that would separate its well-known web companies — like its search engine, YouTube, and Chrome — from its research and investment divisions.

READ MORE: Google to be part of new holding company called ‘Alphabet’

But turns out, BMW operates a fleet service by the name of Alphabet. The auto maker also owns the domain Alphabet杭州龙凤 and reportedly has no plans of giving it up to Google.

Alphabet chose abc.xyz as the URL for its domain – a choice that proved very popular with the tech crown online.

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According to Business Insider, BMW is already looking into whether there are any trademark implications with Google’s new identity; however, a company spokesperson noted there are currently no plans to take legal action against the tech giant.

But BMW isn’t the only business that might take issue with the tech giant’s new name.

Both Bloomberg and The New York Times pointed out that many of small and midsize companies use the name Alphabet. There is even an Ohio-based company that uses the name Alphabet Inc.

Alphabet doesn’t even have control of the @alphabet 桑拿会所 account – the account belongs to Cleveland, Ohio, resident Chris Andrikanich.

Andrikanich’s account was inundated with tweets following Monday’s announcement. His follow up tweet which read, “Well, that was an interesting way to end a Monday…,” garnered over 7,000 retweets.

The 桑拿会所 user has since changed his bio to read, “I’m not affiliated w/ Google/Alphabet Inc.”

Redevelopment moving forward at Edmonton’s former City Centre Airport – Edmonton

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WATCH ABOVE: The first phase of the Blatchford redevelopment project has begun. Mayor Don Iveson was on hand for Wednesday’s ground breaking.

EDMONTON – Ground has been broken on the first phase of the Blatchford redevelopment project. Work has begun on underground utilities at the site.

The project will turn the site of the former City Centre Airport into one of the world’s largest sustainable communities, eventually becoming home to 30,000 people.

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“We do think we have something unique here, something in between urban and lower density residential communities that I think is going to be very, very family friendly and people are going to want to be close to the amenities,” said Mayor Don Iveson.

The Blatchford community will include gardens, energy-efficient buildings and custom-designed streets for walking and cycling.

Iveson is confident the development will be a success despite some economic uncertainty.

“It’s important to realize that this is a 30-year project, and there’s a lot of developers who are moving ahead in servicing right now so that they’re ready for when oil comes back and demand comes back up,” said Iveson.

“So housing starts may be down but that doesn’t mean that private developers aren’t investing as well.”

The project has been moving forward better than expected so far. Demolition and environmental re-mediation were completed at $290,000, which was well below the anticipated $1-million cost.

Alberta: Liberals have opportunities in Calgary, NDP in Edmonton

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For many years, deep-blue Alberta wasn’t really on the radar during federal elections. The Conservatives (and before them, the federal PCs) didn’t have to work all that hard to lock down nearly every seat in the province, and the other parties took resources elsewhere.

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But times have changed, as a startling NDP majority victory earlier this year indicates. In the aftermath, Conservatives have found themselves playing defence in parts of Calgary, once a stronghold, the NDP’s thin organization has been stretched to its limits, and the Liberals are smelling opportunity.

“The NDP is going to make gains in Edmonton, and the Liberals are going to make gains in Calgary,” predicts Mount Royal University political scientist Duane Bratt.

“I think the rest of Alberta will go blue.”

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Calgary

While the NDP did well in Calgary provincially, Bratt says, they will find it hard to match that in a federal election:

“One of the reasons the Liberals did so poorly in the provincial election is that some of its MLAs dropped out to run federally, and they’re taking that base of support with them – think Darshan Kang in Calgary Skyview and Kent Hehr in Calgary Centre. The absence of those guys running provincially – they probably would have won their seats provincially for the Liberals. The fact that they didn’t (run) swung it to the NDP.”

Use the dropdown menu to switch between the 2011 federal election, the 2015 provincial election, and an alternate-reality map of the 2015 provincial election that combines Wildrose and the PCs. Click on a riding to see its name.

Click here to view map »

Calgary Confederation is also competitive for the Liberals, Bratt says.

Edmonton

Edmonton, where the federal NDP already has a foothold in Edmonton-Strathcona, is much more fertile ground for the party. Even in a simulation of Alberta’s provincial election in which Wildrose and PC votes are combined, all nine Edmonton ridings light up bright orange.

WATCH: Provincial Affairs reporter Tom Vernon takes a look at the six new ridings in Alberta for the federal election and what shifting boundaries could mean for voters and candidates.

“The NDP has always had its roots in the city of Edmonton. It’s been tied into the labour movement, both trade unions and public sector unions. Edmonton is much more of a union town.

“We joke in Calgary that it’s made up out of public sector workers and refinery workers. Whereas the white-collar jobs, the engineers, the businessmen, the head offices, are all in Calgary. The people that built the rigs, that commute to the oil patch, and the people that work for the Alberta government tend to be in Edmonton. So Edmonton’s been a much more progressive, Liberal/NDP city for decades.”

Click here to view map »

“The other to watch is Edmonton Centre. (Chrétien-era Liberal cabinet minister) Anne McLellan won it very narrowly – she was in a dogfight every time. That Liberal support is gone – it’s all NDP. They’ve recruited a star candidate named Gil McGowan, who’s a former president of the Alberta Federation of Labour.”

A riding prediction map produced by Wilfrid Laurier University political scientist Barry Kay shows Edmonton Strathcona, Edmonton Centre and Edmonton Griesbach as solidly NDP, and Edmonton Mill Woods, Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan and Edmonton Manning as too-close-to-call blue/orange races.

St. Albert-Edmonton, where ex-Tory independent MP Brent Rathgeber will run against Conservative Michael Cooper, creates an unusual opening for the NDP.

In a one-off way, St. Albert-Edmonton may have a version of the divided-right dynamic that marked the provincial election. (In a united-right simulation of the provincial election, nearly all polls in St. Albert-Edmonton stay orange.)

“Can an independent win? Usually they don’t, but the situation in which they do, it’s when you have an independent who’s already an MP, and an independent who left on a point of principle, as opposed to being thrown out of his party or losing a nomination battle,” Bratt reflects.

“Rathgeber walked away because he felt that the Conservative party wasn’t conservative, and that it was anti-democratic. We’ll see how that plays out.”

Kay’s map shows Lethbridge as leaning NDP. Bratt predicts it will stay Conservative, despite a strong NDP performance there provincially.

“In Lethbridge, they had a local candidate who had been campaigning for multiple years, who was well tied into the community. There are some vulnerabilities in Lethbridge (for the Conservatives), but in the end I think they will go through.”

Conservative Jim Hillyer won in 2011 despite a reclusive campaign in which he avoided all-candidate forums and refused to speak to the media.

“A potted plant won for the Conservatives,” Bratt says.

Lethbridge

Click here to view map »

Despite (and in some ways because of) the NDP’s sweeping provincial win, the party’s resources remain very thin in Alberta, Bratt says.

“The NDP does not have a strong organization here.”

“Even the people who won provincially – they were winning nomination battles with under two dozen people. They had paper candidates who didn’t have signs out, who didn’t campaign, who got elected.”

“The situation may be different in Edmonton, because they have more resources. But the reason they had to bring in so much of the Premier’s staff, and communications people, and chiefs of staff for ministers, was because they didn’t have the people in the province.”

Dog not spayed, owner not eligible for pet insurance coverage – Toronto

WATCH ABOVE: Lucy Fava of Toronto says the pet insurance she bought was of no clause when her dog Coco was deathly sick. As Sean O’Shea reports the company denied her claim because they say the condition was preventable.

TORONTO — A Toronto dog owner who bought pet insurance for the past seven years says the company that took her premiums didn’t come through when she needed it most.

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“I just figured they would cover some of it, or at least three-quarters of it,” Lucy Fava said, referring to life-saving surgery for her dog Coco last winter.

Fava says Coco got sick and was diagnosed with a condition called Pyometra — an inflammation of the uterus.

She says her veterinarians told her the dog — part pug, part Jack Russell terrier — had just hours to live. So she went ahead with the surgery.

The treatment cost to rehabilitate Coco amounted to about $3,500.

Following the procedure, Fava called Pethealth Inc. to discuss repayment.

She says she believed there ought to be some coverage.

But Pethealth denied the claim, citing that Fava was at fault for the infection because she never had Coco spayed.

Pethealth did not return phone calls from Global News, but in its letter to Fava said:

“We are unable to respond to your claim for Coco’s Pyometra as per your selected policy terms and conditions any treatment/surgery relating to the breeding or pregnancy is not available for coverage … this condition is considered preventable and related to breeding or pregnancy …”

Fava says she was never informed during the time she held the policy that certain medical illnesses would not be coverage unless her pet was sterilized.

“It’s personal,” she said. “When you have a pet it’s up to you if you want to have them spayed or not.”

Fava says she’s happy Coco has recovered but unhappy the insurance company has declined to share any costs.

Keremeos fire victim struggling to get back on his feet

KEREMEOS — A Keremeos man lost everything in a fire over the weekend. Harold Bullington received assistance for the first few days, but now, he has nowhere to turn.

“I’m pretty heartbroken. The only thing I saved was my dog,” says Bullington, standing in the debris of what was once his home.

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The blaze broke out Saturday morning near Highway 3 west of Keremeos. A friend driving by noticed the flames creeping towards Bullington’s home and ran in to save him.

“I was sleeping. If it wasn’t for Marty, I would’ve burned up in there or died of smoke,” says Bullington.

Marty Marchand Ring is coming to his aid once again.

Bullington didn’t have insurance, claiming it was much too expensive since his mobile home was on the Lower Similkameen Indian Reserve, which is outside of city limits.

Marchand Ring has set up a fundraiser campaign to help Bullington get back on his feet.

“Harold always tries to help other people out and he doesn’t have much himself. He lives on a disability. I just think that if the community, or the valley, or anyone, if they can reach out and help him, that’s all” says Merchand Ring.

Bullington’s neighbour says the fire victim deserves all the help he can get.

“He’s a super nice guy. Everybody in the community knows who he is,” says Henry Allison.

“He’s the kind of person who if he’s got something, he will hand it to you immediately.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up, as well as an account at the Valley First Credit Union in Keremeos.

Alberta fly fishers divided on whether fishing bans are extensive enough

ABOVE WATCH: The province of Alberta has put a fishing ban on some rivers in an effort to save the fish population from scorching heat, but as Doug Vaessen reports, some experts say it’s not enough.

CALGARY – While certain fishing spots in southern Alberta are temporarily closed due to high water temperatures, some area fly fishers say more bans are needed.

Amber Payliss is a passionate fly fisher and photographer, and says the heat is wreaking havoc on fish in sensitive rivers and streams.

“The Old Man River, for example, I was there last week and it was super low and very warm,” she said. “When the water temperatures reach 18 degrees Celsius to over 20, that’s fish kill levels. Any fish you have at that point in your hands, even if they swim back into the water, often times they won’t survive.”

The province has already banned fishing in nine areas, including long stretches of the Bow River.

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Aaron Feltham is a part owner of Bow River Troutfitters, and thinks the government is doing exactly what is needed.

“They have put some time into it, done their research, and they have chosen—these are the most crucial waters for them  to shut down now,” said Feltham. “I am confident that given some more warm weather, they will make more judgement calls that are according.”

The province says it continues to monitor the situation, but so far hasn’t added any bans since Tuesday.

For her part, Payliss is adamant the next few days are crucial.

“I understand this is the first time we have dealt with such a lengthy closer on our systems,” she said. “But still I think there could be a little more done, at least for this week while we deal with these hot temperatures.”

‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ cast in Toronto to talk slapping, pizza and Superman – National

The stars of the new spy thriller The Man From U.N.C.L.E. touched down in Toronto for the Canadian premiere of the movie on Tuesday.

In the film adaptation of the popular ‘60s TV series, Armie Hammer and Henry Cavill are enemies turned allies with anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better attitudes. In real life, Hammer says there is at least one thing he can do better than his co-star.

“He can’t play the guitar… I don’t mean he can’t, I mean I can and he doesn’t,” Hammer jokes. “He probably could if he wanted to, he’s superman for sh*t sake, he can do whatever he wants.”

As for Cavill? “Speak in an English accent. Pretty sure I can do that better,” Cavill laughs.

On screen, the guys clean up nicely. There’s no doubt Cavill can wear a suit well, whether it’s tailor-made from the finest wool-cashmere or superhero-spandex clinging to his body.

“The Superman suit is a lot tighter … but it’s still cool to wear a Superman suit… you can’t complain, but ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ suits I really loved,” Cavill told ET Canada’s Rick Campanelli. “They were absolutely fantastic. I’d like to do a second one and hopefully get to wear some more suits.”

The cast get in on the action with some crazy stunts, but Hammer was the lucky one on the receiving end of a few hard-hitting, stinging slaps, courtesy of Alicia Vikander’s feisty character, Gaby.

“I guess I just have one of those hittable faces. I don’t know what it is! It wasn’t my idea, it wasn’t even in the script. I wouldn’t have taken the movie if I knew it was going to happen,” Hammer said.

The film is worth seeing for the stunning ’60s fashions alone. Elizabeth Debicki plays the chic but horrible villain, Victoria, and says crafting her character’s style was essential to her performance.

“It’s all in the silhouette … it’s almost like a Cleopatra meets the ’60s kind of vibe,” Debicki said. “It was like a second skin. It just felt right. The costumes are all amazing”

But the best part about making the movie wasn’t the great fashion or the cool spy stunts, it was filming in Italy. Vikander said the pizza was plentiful and the wine was flowing on location in Rome and Naples.

“I probably learned a lot about Italian food and Italian wines. Normally on most films your social life just shuts off because you’re always on set working… but Guy (Ritchie) decided that to make this kind of film you need to have a little fun on the side,” Vikander adds. “Every morning we would decide where to go and what to eat.”

You’ll be seeing a lot more of the 26-year-old Swedish star soon. In September she’ll be back in Toronto to premiere The Danish Girl, alongside Eddie Redmayne, and later this year she’s starring opposite her rumoured boyfriend, Michael Fassbender in “The Light Between Oceans”.

In between premiering movies she’ll be shooting one too. Vikander confirmed she’s joining Matt Damon in a new installment of the Bourne franchise.

“I can’t talk about it yet even though I’m so excited. I’m going to start filming in a month,” she said. “I’m a big fan of the previous movies.”

Watch The Man From U.N.C.L.E. get quizzed on other acronyms below.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. opens nationwide Friday.

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©2015Entertainment Tonight Canada

North end of Cambie Street Bridge could be home to ‘Arc’ development

WATCH: An architecturally unique building is being proposed for the north end of Vancouver’s Cambie Bridge. Ted Chernecki gives us the reaction.

A new design for a proposed building at the foot of the Cambie Street Bridge could be another dramatic addition to Vancouver’s skyline.

Concord Pacific is applying for a preliminary development permit for a rezoned property at 89 Nelson Street. In renderings submitted to the city, the new design by local company Francl Architecture includes a skybridge that would link two towers.

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“It’s an imaginative design, it’s certainly different from many of the buildings that people are starting to tire of in Vancouver,” says local architect and planner Michael Geller.

The aptly-named “Arc” development would be 29 storeys high with 558 residential units and additional retail space. But it’s the linking skybridge and the curves on the building that are getting the most attention.

“Architects and developers are challenging themselves to do something interesting,” says Anita Molaro, Vancouver’s Assistant Director of Planning.

“[We’re] trying to provide those moments, within the urban fabric, of something special in a built form.”

At the north end of the Cambie Street Bridge, the building would create a gateway to downtown rivaling other large towers under construction at Granville Street and Burrard Street.

“In those landmark locations, [there’s] something special about them that is evocative perhaps,” said Molaro. “Particularly notable. The Granville Street tower is doing something unique as a gateway sight into the city…and that helps enrich our experience.”

Rendering of the proposed tower at 89 Nelson Street

Francl Architecture

Georgetown, Ont. woman wins human rights case after firing over pregnancy – Toronto

WATCH ABOVE: A Georgetown, Ont. woman was allegedly fired from her job because she was pregnant. As Catherine McDonald reports, a human rights tribunal decision proves the employer was wrong and the woman is urging others to know their rights.

TORONTO — Yvette Wratten feels empowered following a Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario decision that ruled in her favour after she was fired for being pregnant.

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The 27-year-old Georgetown, Ont. woman worked at Topper’s Pizza in the community for 18 months — first as a delivery driver and then as a kitchen supervisor — but was suddenly terminated on Sept. 14, 2013.

She said her boss at the time, store manager Stephen Brown, called her into his office to discuss her pregnancy.

“He asked me about a rumour that I was pregnant, asked if it was hearsay or if it was actually true, and I told him yes, it was true but I didn’t want to say anything until I’m past my safety net or first trimester because I’m high risk and I’ve lost a few before,” she said.

“He informed me that we’d have to part ways and I told him he couldn’t do it, it was illegal, and he smirked at me, said he could, so I said, ‘See you in court,’ and I walked out the back door.”

Wratten said that just days earlier, she confided in a co-worker whom she thought was a friend, when she was just five weeks pregnant.

She said she had asked the co-worker to keep the news of her pregnancy quiet, but before she knew it others were congratulating her.

“I was pretty upset,” she said, thinking back to how the rumour spread across the office.

Just 10 days after being fired, during a visit to her doctor, Wratten was sent to hospital.

The pregnancy was ectopic, where the fetus develops outside the uterus, and she miscarried.

“It was quite a traumatizing event,” said Wratten.

She said she had searched online for a human rights lawyer and found Jean-Alexandre De Bousquet, who took on the case.

“Her doctor testified that the main reason she was depressed was not because she had a miscarriage, but because she was terminated from this employment that she dearly loved,” De Bousquet said of the three-day hearing.

A decision handed down last week awarded Wratten $20,000 for injuries to her dignity, feelings and self-respect.

Adjudicator Kathleen Martin found “the respondent’s discriminatory conduct was deliberate and occurred at a very vulnerable time.”

At the hearing, Wratten’s former boss testified that her termination had nothing to do with the pregnancy — in fact, he denied even knowing about it.

Instead he said she was fired for poor performance including yelling at co-workers and negative comments to customers. But the adjudicator found his evidence was not credible or reliable.

A statement from Topper’s Pizza to Global News said this “isolated incident is not an acceptable way of treating our valued employees or guests of our pizzerias.”

“At Topper’s Pizza, we take our equal employment policy very seriously and have taken the necessary steps, including additional training, to ensure that this situation never happens again,” it read.

“As a brand, we always have and will continue to value our equal employment policy and the rights of our current and potential employees.”

Statistics obtained from the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario for 2013-2014 show that 810 complaints were filed on the grounds of sex, pregnancy and gender identity.

That’s wrongly 25 per cent of all complaints failed.

But De Bousquet says this case is somewhat unusual.

“It’s the first time I’ve come across a case where the individual discloses to the employer that she’s pregnant and is almost immediately terminated,” he said.

“Usually they will be terminated while being on maternity leave and the employer will allege it’s a result of the [restructuring of] the company.”

Wratten is now happily working as a dispatcher for a cab company, off anti-depressant medication and grateful for family support through the difficult period of her life.

She’s also encouraging others to know their rights.

“I’m super happy, even if it was nothing, I would have been happy just knowing that it was proven that I was right,” she said.

“What they did was completely wrong and they didn’t get away with it. So the money is just more of a bonus.”

Read the full statement from Topper’s Pizza Co-CEO Keith Toppazzini: 

We at Topper’s Pizza are disheartened by the circumstances surrounding this employee’s dismissal. We value each and every employee within our organization and have strict policies and procedures in place to ensure the highest level of employee conduct is performed. At Topper’s Pizza, we also value our Equal Employment Policy and uphold the rights of our current and potential employees at each of our restaurant locations, and take this matter very seriously. As this is the first occurrence of this nature in our organizations’ thirty-three year history, we are taking additional steps to ensure this does not transpire again in future. We are in the process of completing a comprehensive review of Human Resources policies and procedures. More specifically, we are implementing additional Human Resources management training to ensure all employees and franchise partners continue to meet or exceed the highest standard of codes of conduct within our organization as well as with our valued customers. We strive to provide the necessary steps, training documentation and support for our employees and Franchise Partners to ensure that incidents such as this are avoided. We stand by our Franchise Managers in their efforts to handle all employee matters with respect, professionalism, sensitivity and care, while adhering to proper procedure. At Topper’s Pizza we are committed to continual improvements in an effort to offer the best possible support to our team as well as exceptional service to our customers. We look forward to the opportunity to continue to serve our loyal guests for many years to come.

Federal election 2015: Lethbridge NDP candidate Cheryl Meheden – Lethbridge

LETHBRIDGE – “We are ready for this and Lethbridge is ready for change.”

Cheryl Meheden is running for the NDP in the 2015 federal election. She says she plans to use every opportunity to get to know constituents and hear what they have to say.

Global News reporter Quinn Campbell asked Meheden a few questions we thought voters would like to know. Below is a transcript of the interview edited for brevity.

Quinn Campbell: What is your message to voters?

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Cheryl Meheden: The main message we are getting out to Lethbridge is that they need good representation in Ottawa. They need a candidate to represent them who has experience, education and skills that can have them be heard. Secondary to that, the conservative government has let us down.

QC: What is your background?

CM: I’m a small business owner in Lethbridge. I’m the founder of Urban Grocer. I’m also an educator; I teach in the School of Business at Lethbridge College and have also taught in the Faculty of Management at the University of Lethbridge. I’ve attended the U of L along with other educational institutions with varying degrees because I like to think I’m a lifelong learner. I’ve been involved in the community  for decades as a volunteer in many different areas.

QC: Where is home?

CM: Home is off the farm. So I grew up in rural Alberta, near Medicine Hat, and I’ve lived in Lethbridge almost 30 years.

QC: What’s your campaign plan?

CM: Our plan for our campaign is we are always about the ground game, which means getting out and actually meeting voters. We do a lot of door knocking in person, communicating with people, listening to what they have to say. And when you talk to enough people, you start to hear the same things over and over, and then those issues percolate to the top and you know that they are important.

QC: What are a few key things you plan to focus on?

CM: Some key issues for us here in Lethbridge have to do with good jobs and the economy. There is lots of valid reporting out there from many places such as the CIBC, who’ve told us that job growth in this country has been poor. So part-time work, entry-level work, low-skilled work…so that is a concern. Lethbridge has incredible opportunity with agri-business and we can grow good jobs out of that, so I would like to consider that as well as other economic indicators. We are close to the border so that gives us some opportunity for trade, however when the dollar is almost 30 per cent lower, that makes it quite difficult.

QC: Is this your first experience with politics?

CM: This is not my first experience with politics. This is my first experience as a federal candidate, but I have sat on numerous boards and through all types of governance exercises, so I am well familiar.

Meheden can be reached at:

Campaign office: 918 3 Ave. South

Email/website: Cherylmeheden.ndp桑拿按摩

Phone: 403-328-5732

Officials warn of safety risks on Oldman River in Lethbridge – Lethbridge

WATCH ABOVE: As people hit the river to cool off, they’re being reminded how dangerous it can be. Quinn Campbell reports.

LETHBRIDGE- For those looking to cool off, the Oldman River has never looked better, but it’s important to exercise water safety.

Dr. Vivien Suttorp with Alberta Health Services says it’s important to plan in case you are out longer than you anticipated, or face an unexpected incident.

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“You have to be cautious,” she said. “Sometimes you’re on the river for two hours and it’s fun, or the river is slower and you are actually on there much longer than expected, so always take extra water with you and also sun block and mosquito spray. Apply the sun block more frequently and reapply after being in the water.”

No matter your age or ability, Brent Nunweiler with Lethbridge Fire & EMS recommends you wear a life jacket on the river at all times.

“You can’t drown when you are wearing a life jacket,” he said. “We will always be able to find you on the surface, so it’s the safest way to travel with a life jacket or a PFD (personal flotation device).”

Consuming alcohol on the river is not only illegal, but dangerous. It could cost you more than the $115 fine.

“It changes your alertness, and that is a big risk in the rivers,” said Dr. Suttorp. “People do not necessarily make the right decisions when their level of alertness is impaired, and if it’s not the alertness that’s an issue, its dehydration.”

It’s also important to choose the right raft, as the low water levels expose even more hazards.

“Whatever you’re using for floating, make sure they’re a little bit better quality, because with the water level being low with high rocks, trees, debris…You could rip them pretty easy and you could get stranded,” said Nunweiler. “It’s a long walk, especially if no one knows you’re down there.”

It’s not just the obvious debris that can harm you. Dr. Suttorp says there are some serious hidden risks.

“As the river levels are lower and the flow is slower, we often have increasing other bacteria and parasites that may be populating and increasing in numbers in our rivers,” she said. “So do not drink the water and make sure you shower off afterwards.”

Dr. Suttorp added that when it comes to water quality in the rivers, it’s up to the users.

“The rivers, where there is no beaches, are not being monitored for that, so it’s basically taking your own risk.”

Report released into overdose death of eight-year old girl in Alberta group home

EDMONTON — Alberta’s child advocate is calling for improvements after an eight-year-old in a group home died from an overdose of sleeping medication.

A report from Del Graff says the unidentified girl, referred to by the province as “Ella,” had complex needs and was on various medications.

A worker at the group home found her unresponsive in bed in early 2014.

Police investigated but could not determine how the overdose happened.

“Ella’s circumstances have raised questions about the need for improved awareness of existing protocols, the handling of children with complex needs, and medication management for children in care,” said Graff. “It is important that the recommendations in this report are implemented to prevent a similar situation from occurring in the future.”

Graff says the provincial government needs to ensure all caregivers follow medication policies.

He says an internal government investigation found gaps in the group home’s medication procedures, although changes have since been made.

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©2015The Canadian Press

Have a fentanyl prescription? Here’s what you need to know

WATCH ABOVE: Former Global News anchor Reg Hampton explains why he went public with his son Anthony’s story and a fentanyl warning for parents.

The mounting number of deaths and near-death overdoses related to fentanyl is causing concern in communities across Canada, but the narcotic is one that is used frequently for the treatment of pain.

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    Fentanyl blamed for 145 deaths in Alberta so far this year

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Fentanyl has been showing up in recreational street drugs and people who think they are taking drugs such as OxyContin or ecstasy are suffering deadly consequences. In Alberta alone there have been 145 deaths connected to fentanyl so far this year and at least 66 deaths in B.C. where fentanyl was a factor.

READ MORE: ‘It’s such an insidious drug’: Fentanyl warning for parents after Calgary teen’s overdose

Authorities say as little as two milligrams — an amount the size of a couple of specs of salt — can be fatal. And because it’s odorless and tasteless, most people who consume drugs laced with fentanyl don’t realize it until it’s too late.

But when used properly the opioid has many benefits for patients and is widely used on a daily basis, said Dr. Neal Davies, dean of the College of Pharmacy at the University of Manitoba.

“It’s a very potent opioid analgesic. It works quickly, but it doesn’t last that long,” Davies told Global News, adding it’s particularly effective as a pre-procedure analgesic or for “breakthrough pain” — the kind of pain that weaker painkillers can’t quite suppress.

Other common uses include the treatment of chronic pain, during endoscopies, oral and cardiac surgeries.

“It works for patients very well,” he said. “Used appropriately and managed well, fentanyl has its place.”

Fentanyl, he said, has been used since the 1960s but it became more frequently prescribed in the mid-1990s, in the form of a transdermal patch that got widespread use in palliative care.

Fentanyl became more frequently prescribed in the mid-1990s, in the form of a transdermal patch that got widespread use in palliative care.

Tom Gannam, File/AP Photo

The dosages in the patches are in micrograms and the drug is released into the system of a patient, who is already tolerant of opioids, over an extended period of time.

The patch is just one way to get fentanyl into a patient’s system, but it can also be administered via intravenous, intramuscularly, in a lozenge or spray and in a tablet.

According to law and health authorities in British Columbia, where just last weekend Vancouver police responded to six suspected fentanyl overdoses in one hour, the opioid is being cut into street drugs that are in pill, liquid or powder form.

READ MORE: Fentanyl 101: The facts and dangers

“Pills or powders containing illicitly-manufactured fentanyl are especially dangerous because there is no quality control or regulated manufacturing process. These drugs may contain toxic contaminants or have different levels of fentanyl in each batch. Even pills produced in the same batch may have little to lethal levels of fentanyl,” reads a warning on the BC Center of Disease Control website knowyoursource桑拿按摩.

Daniels said many deaths that occur from recreational use of drugs containing fentanyl — and with other prescription opioids that are used that way — are due “mostly to respiratory depression.”

Respiratory depression occurs when the number of breaths slows down to less than 12 per minute, according to the Florida-based Novus Medical Detox Center.

READ MORE: Opioids kill hundreds of Canadians a year. Why are doctors still prescribing so many?

Opiates and opioids are Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants. The CNS controls our ability to breathe and keep the heart beating. When depressed too far by CNS depressants, these functions can slow down and eventually stop,” the Center explains on its website, adding that can end in death or leave a person with permanent brain damage.

That’s what happened to Anthony Hampton of Calgary last month. His father, CTV journalist and former Global News anchor Reg Hampton, came forward with his son’s story this week after the 18-year-old took what he thought was OxyContin. Police believe the pill he took contained fentanyl.

Anthony’s mother and step-father found him unconscious on July 17, not breathing and “turning blue.”

Hampton told Global News his son suffered “significant brain damage” but has been encouraged by some of the progress his son has made since being hospitalized more than three weeks ago.

WATCH: Former Global News anchor Reg Hampton with son Anthony after overdose on fentanyl

While fentanyl can be administered safely when prescribed, there are adverse effects to be concerned about, Daniel said.

Those effects, he explained, can often include confusion, headaches, hallucinations, dizziness and weight loss. And like other opioids, it can be addictive.

READ MORE: ‘I don’t want to live this life forever’: Your stories on opioid addiction

The important thing to remember, he said, is that when a drug gets negative attention because of its misuse or adverse effects in some people, there is “a time and a place and conditions where they should be prescribed and need to be prescribed.”

“There’s a duty of care from health professionals that are providing this to give them (patients) appropriate detailed patient counseling about its addictive properties and about its potency,” said Daniel. “[But] it’s being prescribed in the best interest of the patients, always.”

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