长沙夜生活 24/02/2019

Fort McMurray wildfire contributes to $735M loss for Suncor

Fierce wildfires that swept through northern Alberta’s oilsands region in May have delivered a $735-million net loss for Suncor Energy.

The Calgary-based company said late Wednesday the fire that raged through the region meant it failed to produce about 20 million barrels of upgraded and raw bitumen from its oilsands projects. It said it spent $50 million related to evacuation and restart activities, offset by $180 million in cost savings while operations were suspended.

President and CEO Steve Williams said in a news release the company focused on evacuating employees and their families during the fire. After personnel were allowed to return to the projects, the focus turned to restarting operations and completing a maintenance turnaround at one of its base mine upgraders, with all operations back to pre-fire productivity by mid-July.

Watch below: On May 19, 2016, Alberta wildfire manager Chad Morrison credited the hard work of firefighters in preventing oil production sites in Northern Alberta from succumbing to the still-active wildfire which tore through Fort McMurray.

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    Suncor’s (TSX:SU) net loss for the three months ended June 30 equated to 46 cents per share. A year earlier, it reported second-quarter net earnings of $729 million or 50 cents per share.

    The company recorded a second-quarter 2016 operating loss of $565 million, compared with operating earnings of $906 million in the same period last year.

    Total second-quarter production was 330,700 barrels of oil equivalent per day, compared with 560,000 boe/d a year earlier. Total oilsands output was 177,500 barrels per day, less than half of 423,800 bpd in the second quarter of 2015.

    READ MORE: Higher prices from Fort McMurray wildfire expected to boost Q2 energy company results

    Suncor has increased its ownership of Syncrude Canada this year from 12 per cent to over 53 per cent by buying Canadian Oil Sands Ltd., which had a 37 per cent stake, and adding Murphy Oil’s five per cent interest.

    Suncor’s share of production from Syncrude in the second quarter increased to 35,600 bpd from 24,900 bpd a year earlier. Syncrude production was also affected by the wildfire but Suncor said it was also producing normal volumes by mid-July.

    Earlier Wednesday, Calgary-based Athabasca Oil (TSX-ATH) reported its Hangingstone oilsands project had nearly recovered to the 9,000 bpd it had reached before being shut down for three weeks in May because of the wildfire.

    It reported average production of 7,800 bpd in June and expected output of 8,600 bpd in July.

    Athabasca said annual production is expected to average about 1,500 bpd less than it forecast in December. The project, which uses steam injected in wells to melt heavy bitumen and allow it to be pumped to surface, is expected to ramp up to its 12,000-bpd capacity before year-end.

长沙夜生活 24/02/2019

Edmonton man granted medically assisted death passes away

John Tuckwell, who was granted the right to a physician-assisted death by an Edmonton judge in May, died from natural causes Wednesday morning.

His sister Cathy Tuckwell delivered the news of his passing on Facebook.

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    “This morning, John slipped away… Not as he’d hoped with a physician assisted death; his breathing became compromised and he didn’t have the strength to spit on ALS one last time. Mom and a long-time friend of John’s were both with him when he left this earth. He was comfortable, at peace, and looking forward to seeing Bruno again.

    “Safe travels, John. We will all miss you.”

    The 53-year-old had been living with ALS for nearly four years. The progressive neurological disease stole his voice first, and his ability to swallow. Still, in an interview with Global News in June, John said he felt lucky to have had three good years on his feet since his diagnosis.

    Watch below: Last month, an Edmonton judge granted John Tuckwell the right to a physician-assisted death. The former government spokesperson – diagnosed with ALS in 2012 – explains what the right to end his life on his own terms means. Su-Ling Goh reports.

    READ MORE: ‘I feel relieved’: Edmonton man granted medically assisted death 

    “My brother John has always lived life on the edge, travelling all over the world, meeting people that became life-long friends, celebrating Canada’s geography from the west coast through the Rockies and as far east as Loon Lake,” his sister wrote.

    “When he was diagnosed with ALS in November 2012, we were all gutted, but John… continued to seek out challenges and accomplished many things in the past few years including a trip to Nepal, a drive from Katmandu to Llasa, then Thailand,” Cathy shared.

    John formerly worked as a government spokesperson and his sister referenced his sharp way with words in her message Wednesday.

    “His quick wit was just as likely to get him kudos as it could get him a black eye.”

    She also credited Edmonton’s ALS clinics and the ALS Society of Alberta with giving him the chance to explore the world while he was able.

    “Each time ALS chipped away at his abilities, the ALS Society and the team with the ALS clinic stepped up with the tools he needed to to keep enjoying life,” Cathy wrote. “Each time he beat it back, he was truly on top of the world.”

    Watch below: John Tuckwell, who works for the Alberta government, didn’t shy away from getting drenched with icy water to raise awareness for the disease that has taken away his ability to speak. He also nominated several provincial cabinet ministers to take part.

    In May, John became one of the first Canadians to be granted a medically assisted death.

    “Relieved,” he typed when asked how he felt when the judge ruled that he qualified for the legal exemption.

    In a statement for the court, John wrote: “When I was diagnosed with ALS in October 2012, I was scared, alone, depressed and incredibly angry. Every test to rule out other possible causes of my symptoms pitched me further down that dark slope. I did consider suicide.”

    “But I still had to walk my dog, still met up with friends and went to work. Then it occurred to me that I was still enjoying all that. And I was still laughing, which I love to do.”

    “So I decided to live well while I was still alive.”

    With files from Su-Ling Goh, Global News

长沙夜生活 24/02/2019

Regina Bypass digs massive ‘borrow pit’ to build overpasses

After close to a year of construction on the Regina Bypass, the site has had over 3.3 million cubic metres of earth moved from pits outside the city.

Officials leading the largest infrastructure project in the province’s history took Global News and other media on a tour of key bypass locations, including the “East Borrow Pit” – an open, tiered pit measuring 35 metres deep and located near Tower Road.

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“Overall, we’re moving in excess of 10-million cubic metres of dirt,” Regina Bypass Design Builders project director Alisdair Dickinson said.

In order to move such a large amount of dirt, Regina Bypass has enlisted the help of 13 100-ton hauling trucks from Fort McMurray, Alta. The trucks are most commonly seen in open pit mining.

When asked what will become of the borrow pit when construction ends, Dickinson said there are a variety of ways to remediate the area.

“I’ve seen borrows used for storage for water, for wetlands, for environmental benefits,” he said.

The enormous amount of earth is now being used to build up the eventual 12 overpasses that dot the bypass.

One such overpass is at the Highway 1 and Tower Road interchange, where early bridge development is taking place.

“We have the dirt in place and now we get into commencement of the structures and the bridge structures at the interchanges,” Dickinson said.

Set for completion by Fall 2017, the interchange will send Trans Canada drivers away from congestion on Victoria avenue.

“We’ll see about 70 percent of those trucks go around the south side of the city,” David Stearns, executive director of major projects on the Regina Bypass, said.

The construction phase of the project for Regina Bypass will last until 2019 and includes:

12 overpasses40 km of new four-lane highway20 km of resurfaced four-lane highway55 km of new service roadsTwinning of approximately five kilometres of Highway 6

长沙夜生活 24/02/2019

Convicted killer in Lukas Strasser-Hird swarming death seeks bail pending appeal

Six weeks after a jury found him guilty of second-degree murder, Assmar Shlah is asking to be released from custody.

Shlah is one of three people convicted in the swarming death of 18-year-old Lukas Strasser-Hird.

Strasser-Hird was kicked, beaten and stabbed to death outside of Calgary’s Vinyl nightclub in November 2013.

Shlah is seeking bail while he challenges his conviction, despite the fact the 22-year-old faces an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for at least ten years.

Lukas Strasser-Hird

Courtesy Strasser-Hird Family

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    “When is it going to be over and justice for Lukas has been done? We’ve been through hell and back again,” Strasser-Hird’s grandmother Debbie Hird said outside the Court of Appeal Thursday.

    “It’s ridiculous. The public should understand the things that go on here,” Strasser-Hird’s father Dale Hird said.

    “Before he was presumed innocent and now he’s not presumed innocent–he’s guilty. He’s been convicted and found guilty. It doesn’t make any sense at all why he would be released.”

    Defence lawyer Balfour Der cited several grounds in Shlah’s appeal including an unreasonable verdict based on the evidence, as well as the justice dismissing an application for a directed verdict.

    “[Shlah] would in essence do a lot of dead time sitting in a jail cell when they might ultimately succeed on their appeal…that’s why if there is some chance of success on this appeal he should be released,” Der said Thursday.

    Shlah is asking to be released before he’s been officially sentenced. His lawyer wants Shlah released on $35,000 cash bail or a surety of $70,000.

    But Strasser-Hird’s family worries Shlah is a flight risk. One of the accused in the case skipped bail right before the trial. A warrant remains out for Nathan Gervais, wanted for first-degree murder in the case.

    READ MORE: Canada-wide warrant issued for Calgary man accused in Lukas Strasser-Hird swarming death

    Der disagreed, and said Gervais is “completely different than my client who maintains he’s innocent.”

    “My client wants to be here for this appeal because he maintains it’s going to vindicate him.”

    For the victim’s family, it seems like a never-ending battle for justice.

    “We need this finished so our family can finally try to heal, we haven’t had a chance to totally mourn my grandson or heal with all of this going on for over two-and-a-half years,” Debbie Hird said.

    READ MORE: Man convicted in Lukas Strasser-Hird’s Calgary swarming death appeals conviction

    A key piece of evidence in the case was CCTV video from the bar showing the moments leading up to the murder.

    In the video, Shlah was seen in an altercation inside the bar that spilled outside.

    Watch below: Global’s coverage of the Lukas Strasser-Hird trial

    Online video extra: Reaction to Lukas Strasser-Hird verdicts

    01:17

    Online video extra: Reaction to Lukas Strasser-Hird verdicts

    01:53

    Jury reaches verdicts in swarming death of Calgary’s Lukas Strasser-Hird

    01:28

    Man accused in Lukas Strasser-Hird swarming death thought it was a ‘bar brawl’

    01:09

    ‘I couldn’t do anything about it’: Friend of Lukas Strasser-Hird witnessed swarming attack



    READ MORE: Lukas Strasser-Hird family clings to memories of murdered teen

    Strasser-Hird was seen outside with his hands in his pockets hanging out with friends, but he spoke up when he heard Shlah yell racist remarks to a bouncer. That led to Shlah shoving him so hard he was sent reeling. Soon after, Strasser-Hird was swarmed.

    Strasser-Hird was escorted into the bar, but five minutes later he was sent out the back door into the alley, where he was killed.

    READ MORE: Jury reaches verdicts in swarming death of Calgary’s Lukas Strasser-Hird

    The Court of Appeal reserved its decision on Shlah’s bail request Thursday.

    A date for sentencing is expected to be set next Friday.

长沙夜生活 24/02/2019

City to spend $2M on Yorath House renovations

The City of Edmonton is slated to spend $2 million on renovations and upgrades to a historic site in the River Valley.

The Yorath House is a single-family house in the River Valley Capitol Hill neighbourhood in the city’s southwest. It sits in Buena Vista Park, was built in 1949 and sold to the city in 1992. It is on the city’s inventory of historic resources.

Corey Toews, a planner with the city’s Facility and Landscape Infrastructure branch, said the Yorath House is in “quite remarkable condition” given the structure’s age. No one has lived in it since 1992.

A photo of the Yorath House circa 1951.

Courtesy/City of Edmonton

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    “Structurally the house is pretty solid. It’s well-positioned with moving forward with redevelopment,” Toews said.

    Toews said the upgrades are needed to repurpose the house as a park amenity building.

    “Our goal is to make the space as flexible and dynamic as possible,” he said.

    The city is looking to transform the house into meeting and multi-functional spaces. Toews said that will allow the city to run adult art and yoga classes as well as family nature, Nordic walking and orienteering and navigation programs.

    He said the city wants a “space that community can embrace – retreats, weddings, you name it. We’re hoping the space really appeals to the broadest range of users.”

    The renovations come after citizen engagement and have been included in the Buena Vista Master Plan, which was approved by city council in 2014.

    Toews said upgrades must be made to the house’s accessibility standards and the city is looking at installing an elevator. Work must also be done to the structure’s fire and building codes.

    Some interior walls will have to come down, Toews said, to accommodate plans for programming. However, he said the city is trying to respect the original configuration of the house.

    The $2-million budget includes the redevelopment of the house as well as the grounds adjacent to the Yorath House.

    When asked about the price tag surrounding the project, Toews said the city feels historic resources such as the Yorath House are “important and worthy of retention.”

    The project is currently going through the bid and procurement process.

    Construction is expected to start later this year and is scheduled to be completed by the spring of 2018. It will open to the public shortly afterward.