CBC

Man Charged After Lifting Off in Balloon-Covered Lawn Chair (Video)

We have all seen “Up” and gotten a few ideas of our own but never had the guts to carry them out ourselves. Well, one Canadian man strapped a whole bunch of balloons to a lawn chair and went for it this weekend.
CBC reports skydiver Daniel Boria intended to fly himself to the Calgary Stampede, an annual two-week rodeo, but the weather didn’t cooperate and he parachuted to the ground about a mile from the event.
So his flight turned out OK, but that doesn’t mean you should try this at home. Police were not amused by the stunt, which was meant to advertise Boria’s cleaning company.
The Calgary Sun reports he faces charges of mischief causing danger to life and mischief to property. He was detained by police Sunday evening and released on Monday.
But people just keep trying these balloon stunts. A professional skydiver flew 8,000 feet into the air with balloons tied to a lawnchair before parachuting down just last year. And two men in Oregon attempted to fly to Montana in 2012 but had to land early due to a thunderstorm.

‘When Calls the Heart’: Wholesome Family Entertainment

“When Calls the Heart” is a rare gem in today’s television fare. The family-friendly weekly series is a wholesome drama that all ages can watch together and enjoy on different levels. It airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on CBC.
Shot in Langley, B.C., the American-Canadian series is based on the first book in the “Canadian West” series of novels by Alberta author Janette Oke.
Set in the fictional town of Coal Valley in 1910, the show recounts the saga of Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow) who moves from under the protective wing of her family in the big city to her first teaching job in the small mining town.
Here, there is drama and an interesting mix of likeable characters and nasty folks. The bank owns everything and tries to run the town, while the “mining widows” work to keep their families together and food on the table after a number of husbands and sons are killed in an explosion at the mine. Overall though, the townsfolk understand the value of working together and helping each other when problems pop up.
Executive producer Michael Landon Jr. said that one of his goals was to make an uplifting family show as an alternative to the usual violence and risqué-laden fare seen in prime time. With “When Calls the Heart” he has succeeded.
Throughout the series there are some bad apples who do land in town, but they eventually gain some kind of insight and turn themselves around to become better people. In one episode, the local pastor openly confesses to the town his failing caused by jealousy. Such overt character improvement is not often seen in TV shows these days.
Constable Jack Thornton, a scarlet-jacketed Mountie played by Aussie Daniel Lissing—a famous singer/songwriter down under—provides the love interest. It’s his job to maintain order in the town and look after the young teacher. He does the latter reluctantly, believing that he was sent to the backwater town because Thatcher’s tycoon father wanted her to be safe. Thornton actually wanted to serve in a larger city that would be more challenging.
The townsfolk understand the value of working together and helping each other when problems pop up.Initially the pair seems to irritate each other but over time, friendship and trust develop and by the end of the second season a young romance is germinating.
Thornton is a second-generation Mountie whose father also served on the force. He runs the jail, but the one cell is usually occupied by Rip (as in Rip Van Winkle), a stray dog that Thornton has adopted and who provides some company for the solo constable.
The show and its characters of all ages provide an interesting take on life in the muddy streets of frontier Canada.
The series was first aired on the U.S. Hallmark Channel in January 2014 and picked up on Super Channel in Canada that April. CBC began rebroadcasting the first season nationwide this summer. The earlier shows are available online for those who want to catch up.

Hot, sweaty, risqué: Moncton promotes University with video implying students all over each other

Canadians go to university to get an education. But it arrives, we know, at a particularly hormonal moment in most young peoples’ lives — a hot, sweaty, risqué fact that the Université de Moncton has bravely recognized by doing something universities never do: producing a sexy (yes, sexy) new promotional video marketing the, ah, all-around student experience at the French-language school.

The 30-second video spot features attractive young people engaged in many acts, from peering through a gizmo in a science lab — to sucking face in the library stacks. It is that not-so fleeting kiss that has sparked a minor kerfuffle in Moncton, while generating tens of thousands of YouTube hits for an advertising campaign that, were it not for a few lab coats, could easily be mistaken for a beer commercial.

“When you launch an ad campaign there is people that like it, and people that don’t,” says Marc Angers, UdeM’s director of communications and marketing. “We did [market] testing for a target audience of 16-18 years of age. And the research showed they were looking for lifestyle when they chose a post-secondary education.”

And the point of the campaign, beyond its shock value, and its nods to Acadian pride (the Acadian flag makes two cameos), its clever play on the French word “langue,” — which is French for “language” and “tongue,” and which appears at least six times in the video’s voiceover including the exact moment of the library kiss (“It’s the language of business affairs … and other affairs”) — is to convince young people to say to their folks: ‘‘I am applying to UdeM.”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSwSIALZZqE&w=620&h=379]

Alas, argues Marie-Noelle Ryan, president of the university’s professor’s and librarians’ association, the kids that bite on the sexy-library bait will be disappointed when they wake up in first-year physics class.

“It is a false image of what it is to study at the university,” the professor told the Moncton Times and Transcript.

There is an ongoing debate as to whether a rape culture exists on Canadian university campuses. But one culture that is indisputably demonstrable, and could be testified to by legions of graduates, male and female, is a randiness that pervades places of higher learning.

As legend had it around Queen’s while I was there for graduate school, things have been known to happen in the Joseph S. Stauffer library. University libraries, it seems, are the campus equivalents of the airplane washroom.

“It’s something we consider much ado about nothing even if there is some perception of a controversy,” Michel Albert, the student union’s communications director, said in response to stories about the ad on CBC and the U.S. Gawker site.

The video’s closing scene depicts a winsome lass glancing over her shoulder, inviting the viewer to sidle on down towards the beach, and a circle of friends gathered there.

They are standing around a fire. The sun has set. Campus life has never looked so good.

“What’s important for us is, it worked,” Mr. Angers said. “It did what it was aimed for: it generated awareness.”

National Post, with files from Ashley Csanady, Postmedia News

Dalhousie dentistry student suspended for Facebook posts he didn’t even see: lawyer

HALIFAX — Lawyers for a Dalhousie University dentistry student say the school unfairly suspended him based on Facebook material he hadn’t seen.

Sarah MacIntosh told a news conference Wednesday that Dalhousie University concluded Ryan Millet was guilty of “blatant unprofessionalism” and suspended his clinic privileges earlier this month based on six specific posts made in a Facebook group, two of which he did not see.

“That finding was based on the limited fact that he was a member of a Facebook group in which other people posted inappropriate comments,” MacIntosh said.

“If that’s the new standard — guilt by association is the new standard for a finding of unprofessionalism — I mean people should be looking at what movies they watched, what parties they might have been at where other people made other inappropriate comments last weekend.”

MacIntosh said Millet agrees five of the six posts that led to his suspension were offensive to varying degrees and one was a breach of patient confidentiality.

Millet was a member of a Facebook group where misogynistic comments were posted about female classmates, but his lawyers say he helped expose it.

MacIntosh said Millet has been unfairly targeted in a disciplinary hearing process and they want the university’s senate to appoint an independent judge to figure out how to proceed.

Dalhousie University has said it is following a just process and will evaluate each case of the 13 men who were part of the Facebook group.

A Facebook page called Class of DDS 2015 Gentlemen where sexually hateful comments about women were posted has been taken down.

But according to the CBC, members of the Facebook group voted on which woman they’d like to have “hate” sex with and joked about using chloroform on women. The CBC said in another post, a woman is shown in a bikini with a caption that says, “Bang until stress is relieved or unconscious (girl).”

Woman drops sexual assault allegations, lawsuit against former Olympics CEO John Furlong

VANCOUVER — John Furlong has always maintained his innocence, and describes allegations of abuse made against him as “horrible, heartless lies.” The embattled sports figure, best known for directing Vancouver’s 2010 Olympic Winter Games, now has one fewer accuser.

Late last week, a First Nations woman named Beverly Abraham withdrew a lawsuit and allegations of sexual abuse that she had levelled at Mr. Furlong.

Ms. Abraham claimed in a July 2013 notice of civil claim filed with B.C. Supreme Court that Mr. Furlong had “sexually molested” her “approximately 12 times,” from November 1969 to May 1970, while she was a young student and he was a teacher at Immaculata Roman Catholic Elementary School in Burns Lake, in the B.C. interior.

Ms. Abraham told the CBC that she withdrew the lawsuit after seeking advice from local hereditary chiefs. “I’ve asked them what should I do, because it’s been stressing me out and this has been years,” she told CBC reporter Jason Proctor, in a story published Tuesday. “So what they told me is just forgive him, and leave him up to God.”

Two other First Nations members who attended Immaculata elementary in 1969 and 1970 also filed lawsuits last year, with their own accusations of sexual and physical abuse directed at Mr. Furlong. He denies all of the allegations.

Jason Gratl, a Vancouver-based lawyer who has acted for all three accusers, says he no longer represents Ms. Abraham and a second claimant, Grace Jessie West. He is in the process of formally withdrawing as counsel for the third claimant, Daniel Morice. Mr. Gratl could not say whether Ms. West and Mr. Morice will proceed with their lawsuits.

All three lawsuits were filed in B.C. Supreme Court following an incendiary article about Mr. Furlong and his Burns Lake teaching days, published in the Georgia Straight, a Vancouver weekly newspaper. Written by Ontario-based sports journalist Laura Robinson, the September 2012 article included allegations from eight former Immaculata students — including Ms. Abraham — of physical and verbal abuse by Mr. Furlong. None of the accounts described in the article included sexual abuse.

Mr. Furlong held a press conference immediately after the Georgia Straight story was published and denied the allegations. He then filed suit against the newspaper and Ms. Robinson, accusing them of defamation. Last year, he withdrew his claim against the newspaper and said he would “escalate” his lawsuit against Ms. Robinson, whom he went on to label “a long-time activist” who “masquerades as a responsible journalist” and who is on a “vicious campaign” to destroy his reputation.

No trial date has been scheduled for Mr. Furlong’s defamation case against Ms. Robinson.

Ms. Robinson is herself suing Mr. Furlong for defamation. She told the National Post in an email Tuesday that a June 2015 trial date has been reserved in B.C. Supreme Court. “I very much look forward to the trial so I can get on with my life,” she wrote, “and hopefully the [former] students can get on with theirs.”

National Post

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