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How Canadian docs are fighting Ebola during the world’s worst outbreak

WATCH ABOVE: The colleague of an American doctor receiving intensive medical treatment in Liberia after he was infected with the deadly Ebola virus said on Sunday he remained “optimistic that he will survive.” Dr. Kent Brantly contracted the disease while treating patients in the West African nation for the charity Samaritan’s Purse.

Two American aid workers are now fighting Ebola, the disease they were treating in West African patients. In Liberia, a well-known doctor died this week while treating it as well.

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  • 5 things to know about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa

A Canadian doctor who just returned from a seven-week stint in Guinea says the virus rattling Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia is the globe’s largest Ebola outbreak in history.

In his 12 years with Médecins Sans Frontières, Dr. Marc Forget has been to South Sudan, Haiti, Sri Lanka, and Congo. He’s come across cholera, malaria and typhoid fever.

But this was the Quebec physician’s first encounter with Ebola.

“The magnitude in terms of numbers of patients is already the biggest ever. It’s already the largest in terms of dispersion, too – it touches three countries with so many hot spots,” Forget told Global News.

READ MORE: Why health officials say the Ebola epidemic won’t spread into Canada

It’s the first time in 20 years that the virus has been reported in West Africa. It’s already killed more than 670 people.

Doctors without Borders, Red Cross and Samaritan’s Purse, among other organizations, are still facing an uphill climb in convincing local villages that they’re there for the right reasons.

Some villages threw rocks at aid workers’ vehicles, others shut them out completely. Forget has been told that it’s these NGOs that are bringing in the vicious disease.

“Before you guys came, we didn’t have it so you created this problem,” Forget says he was told.

“It’s hostile…when that happens, it means people don’t want us to be there, they don’t understand what we’re doing and they care for their own family members and they’ll get contaminated in doing that,” he said.

“It’s a war that’s very difficult to win and it’s a war that needs to be won in terms of diplomacy. We need a huge push for health promotion,” Forget explained.

READ MORE: 2 Americans contract Ebola while fighting deadly disease in Liberia

The trouble is, most villages are without television, Internet or phones. Getting the message out takes time, patience and perseverance. When health officials bring in a native speaker, locals are still skeptical.

Earlier this month, Dr. Tim Jagatic – also with the MSF mission – said his team of doctors and nurses had been chased out of villages. Their advice to stay away from deceased victims’ bodies is brushed aside and the survivors they’re curing are stigmatized by their community.

They’re convinced that witchcraft or government conspiracy is at play.

“These types of ideas come forth before basic public health ideas,” Jagatic told Global News.

Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF) is marked by the sudden onset of intense weakness, fever, muscle pain, sore throat and headaches.

Victims’ symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, multi-system organ failure, and internal and external bleeding. In its final stages, some patients bleed from their eyes, nose, ears, mouth or rectum.

READ MORE: What you need to know about Ebola

Ebola isn’t easily transmissible. It spreads from person to person by direct contact with blood, bodily fluids or the corpse of an infected person.

With rigorous safety measures in place, Forget is unsure of what may have happened to the two U.S. health workers who tested positive for the disease.

For starters, the doctors are dressed in heavy, protective gear: scrubs and rubber boots are worn under a full body Tyvek suit (waterproof and used by industrial workers who handle hazardous materials). Two layers of gloves cover the hands, and a Tyvek helmet, hat and goggles worn with a mask to filter air and protect the face. Finally, the doctors wear plastic aprons in case blood or other bodily fluids are splashed on them.

The MSF doctors work in a buddy system at all times. They check to make sure no part of the skin is exposed before heading into clinic.

Clinics are also organized so that suspected, highly probable and confirmed cases are in three different regions. The doctors make their rounds on a route and they can’t backtrack – if they want to get to a certain section, they have to walk the entire circuit.

READ MORE: Calls for testing experimental Ebola vaccine in West Africa intensifies

Because the protective gear is so heavy and they’re working in extreme conditions – think, 35 C – the aid workers can only stay in the clinic for about 1.5 hours at a time. Thermometers worn inside their suits record temperatures as high as 48 to 50 C.

“It’s like wearing your own sauna,” Forget said. But these past few weeks are a distinct reminder to aid workers in West Africa that precautions are necessary.

“It’s a constant concern. We’re always thinking about possible contamination. I was very cautious and vigilance was very high,” Forget said.

He’s pretty sure the fight against the outbreak will continue for months. When asked what MSF and other organizations need to turn the situation around, Forget said it’s more people on the ground.

The aid workers are trying to cover ground with community outreach, education and training local doctors. In one case, his colleague persuaded a village to show the doctors where sick locals were. There might have been 200 people in the village – slowly, the doctors brought patients to treatment. About 50 patients were helped and 26 died.

READ MORE: Doctors Without Borders says Ebola ‘out of control’

Forget isn’t worried about the disease spreading in the same way in Canada.

“Our public health system here, and the type of surveillance we do is so good that I wouldn’t see an epidemic of that magnitude,” Forget said.

“We could have a case but the contact would be traced quickly, people would be isolated and that’s the end of the story,” he said.

“There’s very little likelihood someone will come into contact with a sick person and jettison off somewhere because the people who do come into contact with those infected are family members and health care workers,” Canadian microbiologist and author Jason Tetro told Global News last month. Sick patients, right now, also tend to be in rural areas of Africa where locals aren’t typically hopping onto planes for travel.

Even if a case made its way overseas, Canadian health officials have the safeguards in place to protect the public. Post-SARS, protocol for nurses, doctors and paramedics changed dramatically and surveillance is now in place brokering intelligence on rising diseases that could pose a threat.

READ MORE: SARS 10 years later – how has the health care system changed?

Patients are now screened for a fever, cough or trouble breathing. They’re asked a critical, telling question: have they recently returned from another country? Frontline health care workers assessing them don masks, gowns, gloves and any other equipment that acts as a safeguard.

Hospitals have better ventilation, single rooms, and plexiglass walls act as a barrier between emergency room front desks and sick patients.

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How parents can help save for their child’s post-secondary education – National

TORONTO – So you just had a baby. Hey, congratulations. While you bask in the glow of parenthood, here’s a scary thought: By the time your baby heads off to college or university, they could be forced to shell out upwards of $100,000 for an education.

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In 2013 and 2014, the average price tag for a year’s tuition at a Canadian university was $5,772.

And those costs are expected to rise, according to the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. Last year, for example, the average tuition was 3.3 per cent more than the year before.

Factoring in books, course materials and living expenses, it’s enough to make any parent break into a cold sweat.

According to the Canadian Federation of Students, students in Ontario and the Maritimes (the provinces with the highest debt loads) hold more than $28,000 in debt on average.

But all these numbers aren’t meant to scare you and your kids away from higher education – still widely considered to be a sound investment in your child’s future.

Data from Statistics Canada shows that the higher level of education achieved, typically the higher the rate of employment.

In 2009, for example, 82 per cent of Canadians ages 25 to 64 with post-secondary education were employed. Compare that to just 55 per cent employed for those with less than high school education. In 2008, university grads earned 70 per cent more on average than high school graduates.

So with all that in mind, here are some tips for parents and students saving for post-secondary education.

Decide where to put your money

Parents, grandparents, relatives and friends are all able to open a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) for a future student. There are different RESPs to choose from, but to get started all you need is a Social Insurance Number for the child – meaning you can start saving when the child is very young.

Individuals then make regular contributions to the RESP, and once the child is ready to attend a qualifying post-secondary education program money is withdrawn from the RESP to help cover the costs of school.

RESPs have a few significant advantages, namely that the federal government will match contributions made through the Canada Educations Savings Grant, contributing an extra 20 per cent up to a maximum of $500 per year.

The grant is available until the child is 17 years old.

If you’ve opened an RESP, you may also be eligible for the Canada Learning Bond, which could add up to $2,000 in government funds to your child’s RESP.

The bond is available to children born after Dec. 31, 2003 whose family receives the National Child Benefit Supplement (find out if you’re eligible here).

There are also non-registered options for education savings, including high-interest savings accounts, bonds and GICs.

Non-registered savings plans are preferred by some since they don’t have a contribution limit and don’t come with the same education-specific restrictions.

Money can be withdrawn at any time for any reason – but holders of non-registered accounts must resist the temptation to use the education funds for something else.

Tax-free savings accounts (TFSA) are also an option. Savings grow tax-free and money can easily be withdrawn to help pay for a child’s education down the road.

The earlier you start saving, the better

It goes without saying that the earlier you start saving, the more funds you’ll have by the time your child enrolls in a post-secondary program.

If, for example, you began saving $100 per month in an RESP (earning three per cent annually) from the time your child is born, you will have saved more than $30,000 by the time they turn 18. Start saving once your child is 10, and the same monthly contribution only gets you around $12,000.

Use online tools to figure out how much you’ll need to save

You can get an idea of how much you’ll need to save in an RESP using online calculators like this one.

The calculator allows you to choose the province of study (there ‘s a big difference in tuition fees across the country), how many years you think your kid will be in school for, if they’ll live at home or not and so on.

Other online calculators give you an idea of how much money it will cost to attend specific schools and programs.

Start the conversation early

Not only is it better to start saving early, starting the conversation with your child about the cost of education is also recommended.

“You really want to be proactive and involve them at an early age,” said Scott Hannah, CEO of the Credit Counselling Society.

Hannah recommends that as early as six years old, start talking to your kids about going to school and how it is going to cost money.

Explain to kids that when they come into extra money (like gifts from grandparents) they could put it into their RESP to give it a boost, said Hannah.

As they near the end of their high school career, start talking to them about potential student loans, grants and scholarships that may be available.

If your child is taking out a student loan, make sure you talk to them about debt.

“Kids don’t understand debt,” said Hannah. “They think of student loans as money,” using it for things such as going on spring vacations.

Make sure your kid has a McJob

“It can’t just be up to the parents to cover the whole cost [of post-secondary education],” said Hannah.

Ideally, once a child turns 15 or 16, they are working in a part-time job. Money earned can be put toward education savings. Beyond that, having a job teaches kids about money management and how to balance priorities – important life skills as they head out to college.

“Kids need to have skin in the game when they go to school,” said Hannah, adding that because they have paid for the courses, they’ll be more likely to show up to class and put more effort into their studies.

One tip from Hannah is that, when financially possible, parents have their children pay for school courses themselves. Money saved in their RESP can then be transferred to a high-interest savings account, so they’ll have savings when they come out of school.

He doesn’t, however, recommend doing this if it means the student will have to take out a loan or incur debt – in those cases, use the funds saved in the RESP to cover the costs.

“Student debt really puts you behind the eight-ball,” said Hannah.

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$400,000 worth of drugs seized in Langley – BC

$400,000 worth of drugs are off the street as the result of an investigation into gang-related activities in Langley.

In early July, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of BC launched an investigation into the alleged drug trafficking activities of the Langley-based “856” gang.

On July 22, investigators arrested a man outside of an apartment building in the 4600 block 236th St in Langley.

He was searched, and significant quantities of both cocaine and methamphetamine were seized.

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While officers were on scene, two other men arrived in a vehicle. Both were arrested.

The next day investigators executed a search warrant on an apartment inside the building on 236th St.

Inside, officers found large quantities of drugs and drug-related items, including a 20-ton press used for re-pressing kilogram bricks of cocaine after it is “cut” with “buff” (a cutting substance).

It is believed no one lived in the apartment, but the suite was being used as a drug processing and repackaging facility.

The total drugs seized include:

• Cocaine: 2.514 kg ($150,000)
• Methamphetamine: 3.846 kg ($100,000)
• Heroin: 522 g ($55,000)
• Oxycontin: 123 tablets/pills ($3,700)
• Cocaine cutting agent/buff: 44.062 kg ($80,000)

Sergeant Lindsey Houghton with CFSEU-BC says the drugs were destined for outside the Lower Mainland.

“What we found with the 856 gang, they have looked to other communities where there might be gaps in the drug market. There might be supply and demand that they think they might be able to fill,” says Houghton.

WATCH: Sergeant Lindsey Houghton talks about the bust 

The three men arrested, aged 23, 25, and 47, have all been released from custody pending charges. No charges have been laid yet.

All three are from Langley.

The men are believed to be high-ranking members of the “856” gang.

The “856” gang is named for the phone prefix in the Aldergrove area.

They are know for violent acts across B.C. and beyond, says  Houghton.

The group reaches out as far away as Fort St John, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Alberta and Ontario.

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Harper announces $2.5M to train northern Saskatchewan miners

Watch above: Prime Minister Harper announces funding for mining school in northern Saskatchewan

AIR RONGE, Sask. – The federal government is committing $2.5 million to help train miners in northern Saskatchewan.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the announcement at a training college in Air Ronge, a four hour drive northwest of Saskatoon.

“The rapidly expanding mining industry in Northern Saskatchewan is creating increased demand for local skilled workers,” said Harper.

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“Our Government’s investment for Northlands College will help students gain the training they need to access the jobs and prosperity being generated by the industry.”

The money will be used to purchase heavy equipment simulators and help create the Northlands College Mine School.

The school will include lab facilities which will allow the college to contribute to mining research together with the University of Saskatchewan and SIAST.

The college plans to recruit northern Saskatchewan residents and aboriginals for the training.

It is estimated that almost one in 16 jobs in Saskatchewan is supplied directly or indirectly by mining and will rise to one in five jobs by 2028.

“The support being provided today gives Northlands College the ability to increase and improve its program offerings so that more Northerners can secure good jobs in the rapidly growing mines sector and play an integral part in the development of the northern, provincial and national economy,” said Harper.

“The mining industry provides some of the highest paying jobs in the province, in fact, almost twice the weekly average wage and this investment will make sure that the people of northern Saskatchewan have access to the training they need to fill those jobs.”

Across the street from Harper’s announcement, 20 protesters held up signs urging him to do more to fight native poverty and environmental degradation.

Protesters gather in Air Ronge, Sask. on July 30, 2014 to urge Prime Minister Stephen Harper to do more to fight native poverty and environmental degradation.

Wendy Winiewski / Global News

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Instagram launches Snapchat rival ‘Bolt’ – National

TORONTO – Instagram has officially unveiled a disappearing photo messaging app called “Bolt,” meant to take on rival Snapchat, just one week after the app was leaked.

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The app allows users to send self-destructing photo and video messages to friends and include additions like text captions. Users can only send messages to one person at a time and are only able to have 20 friends on their “favourites” list.

Speculation surrounding the app began last week after some Instagram users reported receiving a notification about a new messaging app on their profiles. However, the link included in the notification was dead.

Bolt draws on features from competitor Snapchat and Facebook’s Slingshot app, which was released last month to compete with Snapchat.

READ MORE: Facebook launches ‘Slingshot’ app, for real this time

But Instagram is owned by Facebook – which means this is the company’s second shot at Snapchat.

Slingshot allows users to send photos or videos up to 15 seconds long – but, just like instant messaging competitor Snapchat’s app, the images disappear once viewed by the recipient.

Oddly enough Facebook also prematurely leaked the Snapchat app to the App Store before its official release.

Snapchat has seen massive success in the mobile messaging category. Users send over 400 million “snaps” per day, which makes it a fierce competitor for Facebook’s Messenger app.

And Facebook has a competitive past with the app.

In December 2012, Facebook released an app called “Poke” that mimicked Snapchat’s self-destructing photo feature. But the app tanked and was pulled from the App Store a year later.

In 2013, it was reported that Snapchat turned down a US$3-billion takeover bid from Facebook.

Then in February, Facebook purchased WhatsApp, another popular messaging app, for US$19 billion.

Instagram is initially launching Bolt in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa. It’s not yet clear when the app will launch in other countries.

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Moncton para-athlete heads to world games in England – New Brunswick

MONCTON – A 22-year-old New Brunswick woman is representing Canada at the International Wheelchair and Amputee games in Stoke Mandeville, England, beginning next week.

Christel Robichaud flies out Thursday and will compete in the discus and shot put events. She’s ranked first in her class in the country and is one of only five Canadian para-athletes set to compete at the event.

She’s also the only New Brunswicker with a spot on the national team.

“Probably when I get there it’s going to be like, ‘Oh my gosh, there is a lot of people, I am not used to this,’” she said in an interview with Global News Wednesday.

Robichaud has Spina Bifida – but, more importantly, has some big dreams. She’s aiming to toss the discus at the Paralympics someday. And her trainer, Steve LeBlanc, says she’s got the potential.

“She’s been training in the sport for a year so to be on a national team is exceptional and is a pretty good indication of where she is able to go in the future,” he said.

Christel Robichaud is the only New Brunswicker headed to the world Wheelchair & Amputee games in England.

Steve Fiander/Global News

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Dealing with adversity is nothing new for Robichaud. Like so many Canadian athlete’s, she struggles to support her Olympic dreams.

“Living on $758/month is kind of hard for anyone and add sports costs to that,” she said.

Now that she’s on a national team, she hopes to access a $4,000 grant from the province. A province which, LeBlanc says, is becoming known across the country as a place where para-athletes are born.

“We’ve been one of the leaders in Canada for the development of para-athletics.”

Robichaud hopes that her experience at the worlds, win or lose, will encourage even more young people in the province with different abilities to take up competitive sport.

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Vegetables for dessert trend popping up on restaurant menus

Eat your veggies or no dessert? How about eat your vegetables AS dessert?

And we’re not talking grandma’s zucchini bread. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

Maybe you’d like some beetroot ice cream as served by the Sweet Rose Creamery in Santa Monica, California. Or perhaps your fancy runs more to sweet asparagus beignets laced with almonds with green asparagus ice cream, poppy seed crunch and violet syrup, a creation of chef Bart Vandaele at the Belga Cafe in Washington, D.C.

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The trend is a natural outgrowth of the emphasis on eating fresh and local, says Kelly Liken, who runs her eponymous restaurant in Vail, Colorado. Serving the same fruit over and over can get a little monotonous and if you have lots of vegetables at your disposal it only makes sense to experiment a little.

Among the desserts she and pastry chef Colleen Carey have come up with are Peas & Carrots. That would be a concoction that includes brown butter financier (a type of cake) with a sauce of English peas alongside carrot sorbet and carrot marmalade.

Those are peas and carrots showing some serious side.

Liken, who appeared on Season 7 of Bravo’s Top Chef, opened her restaurant 10 years ago and “for 10 years we’ve been really, really focused on our local vegetables,” she says. “We’re constantly having to come up with new and innovative vegetable ideas.”

Some of the new desserts put a twist on old classics, like chef Jamie Bissonette’s carrot cake take.

Bissonette, the James Beard Award-winning chef behind Toro and Coppa in Boston and Toro in New York City, adds carrot juice to whipped cream to add a beautiful touch of orange to the dish, served at Coppa in Boston’s South End.

“I came up with the idea for carrot whip cream because I love carrot cake and wanted to do a slightly different take on it. It’s one of my absolute favourite desserts ever, and this incorporates the flavour of carrots into a sweet cake in a different way,” he says.

“I serve the carrot whip cream on olive oil cake with some carrot-parsley crumble and it’s this beautiful and fresh variation of one of the most classic desserts.”

Finding the vegetable sweet spot isn’t just for restaurants.

At Jamba Juice, the popular chain known for its juices and smoothies, the company saw the interest in vegetables and decided to incorporate them into what had been all-fruit smoothies.

The Apple n’ Greens smoothie, for instance combines apple and strawberry juices, kale, peaches, mangos and bananas. “Kale smoothie” might not be the first thing to spring to mind when thinking of delicious drinks. But it’s turned out to be a tasty and extremely popular, says Susan Shields, senior vice-president and chief innovation officer at Jamba Juice.

There are four fruit-veggie smoothies, including Tropical Harvest, which blends butternut squash, carrots, sweet potatoes and mangos.

“The beauty about these four items is they taste really good,” says Shields. “The kids love these. They don’t know that they’re vegetables.”

With the new school year looming, along with the task of packing daily lunches, finding new ways to look at vegetables is something parents can explore. And it doesn’t have to be elaborate; Likens recommends tactics such as grating carrots and zucchini or other squashes into oatmeal cookie mix.

“I always tell parents that’s definitely a good way to ‘stealth health’ the dessert,” she says.

©2014The Associated Press

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Smart shoes deliver directions to your feet – National

TORONTO – For those of us who struggle with directions, map applications are a must – but having your head buried in your smartphone following along with Google Maps can be distracting and dangerous.

Enter the smart shoe.

Indian startup Ducere Tech has created a line of Bluetooth-enabled footwear called Lechal, designed to deliver directions straight to the user’s feet with vibrations.

Available in a shoe or insole, Lechal – which translates as “take me there” in Hindi – allows the user to enter their destination into an app using a mapping program like Google Maps. Once the user begins walking around, the shoe or insole will vibrate according to which way you are supposed to turn.

Going left? Your left shoe will vibrate, and vice versa.

The shoe also tracks things like the number of steps taken and calories burned.

Lechal footwear.

Screenshot/YouTube

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But the shoes are not just designed for those who have trouble with directions. Ducere Tech hopes that the smart shoes will benefit those with visual impairments.

“The white cane, while an effective aid, falls short with respect to navigation, directions and orientation. Moreover, current assistive devices rely primarily on providing audio feedback,” reads the company’s website.

“People who are visually challenged depend heavily on their sense of hearing to acquaint themselves with the environment and may find audio feedback a major distraction.”

Ducere Tech has partnered with L V Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad, India, to study the footwear’s effectiveness as an assistive device.

Each time an order is placed for the special edition smart shoes, the company will donate one pair of Lechal shoes to a visually impaired user.

“Through this powerful, intuitive, unobtrusive footwear, LECHAL hopes to provide people who are visually challenged the confidence to independently move around in familiar and unfamiliar areas,” reads the website.

Both the shoes and the insoles will retail for about $100. The company is currently taking preorders on its website and says it will ship internationally.

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CFL Coaching legend Don Matthews passes away – Winnipeg

Former B.C. Lions head coach Don Matthews rubs his head after taking off his hat while being inducted into the CFL football team\’s Wall of Fame during halftime of the team\’s game against the Edmonton Eskimos in Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday July 20, 2013. The Montreal Alouettes are bringing back Matthews and adding Turk Schonert as consultants to their coaching staff. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

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The Canadian Football League has lost a coaching legend with Wednesday’s passing of Don Matthews. The 77 year old from Amesbury, Massachusetts died in Beaverton, Oregon according to the Toronto Argonauts.

The CFL released a statement, describing Matthews as a leader of some of the league’s greatest players and teams, and a mentor to many current coaches. “Upon hearing of the passing of Don Matthews, the Canadian Football League family is both deeply saddened by this loss and grateful for his many contributions to our league. The Don, as he was known, was one of a kind. He was a charismatic star that loved to spar with the media at the same time he commanded the spotlight.”

“The Don” broke into the CFL as an assistant with the Edmonton Eskimos in 1977 and served as a defensive coordinator on five consecutive Grey Cup Champions from 1978-82. The following season he was hired as the Head Coach of the BC Lions, embarking on a 22 year career with Baltimore, Saskatchewan, Edmonton, Toronto, and Montreal that would see him win five more titles to go along with 231 regular season victories and nine Grey Cup appearances. Matthews, a five time winner of the CFL Coach of the Year award, was inducted into the Canadian Football League Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Heat advisory issued for Edmonton Zone – Edmonton

Watch above: Albertans set a new summer record for electricity demand today, and AHS issued a heat advisory for the Edmonton zone. Laurel Gregory digs into the heat and its impact.

EDMONTON – With temperatures in the Edmonton area expected to climb, Alberta Health Services issued a heat advisory Wednesday morning.

The heat advisory will remain in effect for the next 72 hours, until 11:00 a.m., August 2.

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“We have an Omega High over western Canada,” said Global Edmonton Meteorologist Nicola Crosbie. “It’s called this because the jet stream is shaped like the Greek Omega symbol and it blocks any systems coming in from the west.”

“When we have a blocking high like this, we tend to break records.  Edmonton’s record today is 32.2 [degrees] from 1939.”

“There were 10 temperatures records broken across Alberta on Tuesday.

“Jasper hit 34.4, breaking a 20 year old record,” Crosbie added.

Just before noon, AHS issued the advisory, recommending that everyone in the Edmonton Zone take precautions to protect themselves and their families from the potentially harmful effects of the sun and heat.

The health authority suggests rescheduling outdoor activities to cooler hours of the day, taking breaks from the heat, drinking plenty of water, wearing sunscreen, and keeping covered from direct sunlight.

It also reminds people not to leave any person or pet inside a closed vehicle.

In July alone, Edmonton Humane Society peace officers were called 72 times about pets allegedly left in hot vehicles. Charges are pending in several cases.

Children are especially vulnerable to heat as well.

“Never leave a child in the car unattended,” said Dr. Chris Sikora, Edmonton Zone’s Medical Officer of Health for AHS.

“It’s just not something that should ever happen.”

“Children have a much larger surface area. They lose water much more easily than you or I would, and the little ones won’t be reaching for a glass of water like I might when I’m outside.”

Symptoms of heat stroke include high body temperature, lack of sweat, disorientation, fainting, and unconsciousness.

“Normal activity that may be safe on a cool day might be dangerous in current weather conditions,” said Sikora.

“If you start to feel overheated, stop your activity immediately, seek shade and drink fluids.”

“Seek medical attention immediately for any individual feeling faint,” Sikora added.  “While awaiting medical attention, move the individual to a shaded area, and remove his or her outer clothing and shoes.  You should also wrap the person in a wet towel until medical care is being provided.”

People who are even more vulnerable to heat include children, seniors, individuals with pre-existing respiratory or cardiovascular conditions, outdoor workers, as well as those who are socially isolated.

Albertans can also contact Health Link Alberta at 1-866-408-LINK (5465).

“Unfortunately, because of the descending air due to high pressure and lack of wind, pollutants get trapped at the surface,” explained Crosbie.  “Air quality also becomes an issue.”

On Wednesday, Environment Canada had Edmonton’s Air Quality Health Index listed as a level 5 (Moderate risk).

Meanwhile, the Alberta Electric System Operator is asking Albertans to reduce power.

Due to the hot weather, low wind and generators being offline, the electricity system is operating at near full capacity, says AESO. It is requesting all Albertans to voluntarily reduce their use of electricity by:

Turning off unnecessary lights and electrical appliances;Minimizing the use of air conditioning by closing blinds, shades or drapes during the hottest part of the day; and,Avoiding the use of major power-consuming equipment such as dishwashers and washers and dryers during the energy conservation period.

When asked if there was any concern of rolling brownouts, a spokesperson for the AESO said “the system is experiencing very high demand, wind is low and two coal plants are out,” but added that there was still a healthy reserve. “At this point we are good but our system controllers are monitoring the system very closely.”

The AESO will be posting updates on 桑拿会所 @theaeso and on its website.

“A cold front is forecast to come through late Thursday, bringing much cooler, unstable weather for the weekend,” Crosbie said.

The City of Edmonton extended public swim hours at select outdoor pools until Friday, Aug. 1, including:

Wednesday, July 30
Oliver Outdoor Pool (11 a.m. – 9 p.m.)
Mill Creek Outdoor Pool (11 a.m. – 9 p.m.)

Thursday, July 31
Queen Elizabeth Outdoor Pool (11 a.m. – 9 p.m.)
Oliver Outdoor Pool (11 a.m. – 9 p.m.)
Mill Creek Outdoor Pool (11 a.m. – 9 p.m.)

Friday, August 1
Fred Broadstock Outdoor Pool (11 a.m. – 9 p.m.)
Oliver Outdoor Pool (11 a.m. – 9 p.m.)
Mill Creek Outdoor Pool (11 a.m. – 9 p.m.)

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