Canadian Hurricane Centre predicts 'active' season in the months ahead

The Canadian Hurricane Centre says it’s expecting the 2022 hurricane season to be similar to the last couple of years.

In a press conference, Environment and Climate Change Canada meteorologist Bob Robichaud said there is a 65 per cent probability of an active hurricane season in 2022, though it’s yet to be determined how many storms will affect Atlantic Canada.

The Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1 and ends on Nov. 30.

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Robichaud said based on the current water temperatures in the Atlantic, the probabilities “are pretty good that we’re going to see an active season overall in the Atlantic.”

“It’s impossible to say where these storms are going to go at this particular point in time,” said Robichaud when asked about the likelihood of Atlantic Canada being impacted by the upcoming hurricane season.

“Where these storms go depends on the weather of the day, and that’s what we’re not able to predict this far in advance.”

Know your risk

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NAOO) projected there will be 14 to 21 named storms, six to 10 expected to reach hurricane status, with three to six likely to reach major hurricane status.

“Obviously someone who lives right out on the coast is going to have some other hazards to deal with as someone who lives inland and is not subject to storm surge,” said Robichaud, when asked how Atlantic Canadians can prepare for the upcoming hurricane season.

“The first thing to do is analyze your situation, know your risk, and then develop a plan that covers those risks.”

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Thousands still without power after storm in Ontario, Quebec that left at least 10 dead

The Atlantic hurricane season produced 21 named storms and seven hurricanes in 2021.

The 2021 season was the third most active season on record. The largest tally was recorded the previous year, which produced 30 named storms, surpassing the previous high of 28 in 2005.

The most recent hurricane to significantly impact Nova Scotians was Hurricane Dorian in 2019, which caused more than 400,000 people to experience power outages as a result of the storm. Some rural areas were without power for up to nine days.

Provinces saw excessive rainfall as Hurricane Ida made its way through Atlantic Canada in September 2021. Total rainfall had risen to as high as 121 millimetres in Brier Island, N.S., with residents of Grand Manan, N.B., experiencing up to 94 millimetres of rain.

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Despite the conditions brought forth by Ida, Hurricane Larry left the most significant mark on Atlantic Canada in 2021.

In September, some areas of Newfoundland and Labrador experienced wind gusts of up to 182 km/h. About 61,000 residents encountered power outages as the Category 1 storm swept throughout the province’s coast.

According to World Data, hurricanes occur across Canada about five times a year on average. The hardest-hit regions are Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec, and Nova Scotia.

Each storm is rated according to the intensity of sustained winds on a scale of one to five. A hurricane that falls under Category 3 or higher is considered a major hurricane.

The National Weather Service defines a hurricane as a “tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 74 mph or higher.”

This projection comes after a powerful storm swept through Ontario on Saturday. At least 10 people died as a result of the storm.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Toronto police issue public safety alert after fentanyl patch reported missing

Police have issued a “public safety alert” in Toronto after a fentanyl patch was lost in the city.

In a press release, Toronto police said on May 20, the medication was reported lost or missing in the St. George Street and Bernard Avenue area.

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Hamilton paramedics seek missing medication pouch, issue warning

Officers said a 12.5 micro grams of fentanyl in a horizontal patch has been reported missing.

Police said the medication “could be harmful or fatal if ingested or touched, especially to children.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Mapping program RCMP struggled to open could have helped contain N.S. mass killer

A retired RCMP officer who was one of the first to respond in Portapique the night of the mass shooting is sounding off on his former employer. Retired corporal Tim Mills is accusing the RCMP of failing to support tactical officers in the weeks after the mass shooting. As Graeme Benjamin reports, mills also says they didn't have the right equipment the night of.

A report looking into a mapping program the RCMP had access to — but couldn’t open — during the 2020 mass shooting in Nova Scotia concludes it could have helped contain the killer’s rampage.

The study by Brian Corbett, an analyst with the inquiry, compares images of potential escape routes the RCMP viewed on Google Earth with what they could have seen through Pictometry — the trade name at the time for a program that uses high-resolution aerial images.

The inquiry has heard that after killing 13 people in Portapique, N.S., the gunman drove his replica police car along a narrow dirt road that led to three intersections that weren’t initially being watched.

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RCMP supervisors have said they chose just to block the main road because the mapping images they used suggested to them the smaller routes weren’t passable by car.

However, Corbett found Pictometry “makes it more apparent that these are driveable roads,” while the Google Earth image is “unclear.”

After comparing maps of key escape routes, Corbett wrote, “Pictometry imagery would have given the RCMP a better understanding of the road networks in Portapique, thereby enhancing containment efforts.” At the time, the program was referred to as Pictometry, but it is now called Eagleview, the name of the U.S. parent company.

On April 18, 2020, at 10:32 p.m., as the first three Mounties advanced into the community on foot, Const. Vicki Colford was stationed at the main road’s intersection with the highway. A fifth RCMP officer went to the same location at 10:43 p.m.

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The inquiry has said that sometime between 10:41 p.m. and 10:45 p.m., the killer slipped away onto Highway 2 and drove to an industrial park in Debert, N.S., before killing nine more people on April 19. According to inquiry documents, the killer escaped on a dirt road next to a blueberry field at the southern end of Portapique, reaching a U-shaped loop that connected with the highway east of where Colford was stationed.

The first officer to supervise the response, Staff Sgt. Brian Rehill, said in an interview with the inquiry last year the maps he saw showed “little gravel roads,” but he believed there was only one route out of the enclave by car. “That’s where I had all the containment set up,” he said.

Jen MacCallum, a supervisor at the RCMP’s Operational Communications Centre who worked with Rehill that night, said in an interview with the inquiry that Pictometry “was not working that night.”

“I was trying to get the passwords and everything to work, I could not,” she said, adding that a “millennial techie guy” in her office also couldn’t solve the issue.

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Staff Sgt. Addie MacCallum, a district commander in Pictou County who assisted that night, also said he couldn’t open the Pictometry program in RCMP headquarters in Bible Hill, where several of the incident supervisors were stationed in the early hours.

“I start trying to go and find Pictometry, which each detachment’s supposed to have. I couldn’t find it, and (Staff Sgt.) Al Carroll (the local district commander at the time) didn’t know where it was …. We end up pulling a map off the wall. We put it on the table and start hand drawing on it,” he said.

Like Rehill, he said it seemed there was only one road in and out of Portapique.

Tara Miller, a lawyer participating in the inquiry on behalf of a victim’s family member, said in an interview last week that using the best programs in emergencies like the mass shooting should have been a normal process for incident commanders.

“Those were the critical moments to have been able to lock down Portapique and secure the containment,” Miller said of the initial period when the killer was still in the rural, wooded area.

“If they have these resources, they should be able to access them in the critical moments when they’re needed the most,” she said.

Allan Ladouceur, district manager with Pictometry Canada Corp., a subsidiary of Eagleview Technology, said in an interview Tuesday the RCMP have access to online training resources as part of the licence permitting them to use the web-based program.

Staff Sgt. Steve Halliday, another supervisor of the RCMP response, has testified that when he came on duty, “there was a belief” the main road was the only way out.

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He testified that it was only at about 4 a.m. or 4:30 a.m. on April 19, when he saw a better map, that he came to realize smaller roads might have allowed the killer to escape “by all-terrain vehicle or whatever,” and he ordered the exits blocked by two Mounties.

Under cross-examination by Miller last week, Halliday said, “Pictometry certainly would have provided … a more clear view, I think.”

Rob Gordon, a criminology professor at Simon Fraser University, said in an interview last week that it’s important for incident commanders to be well-trained in how to use mapping technology.

He said without good mapping, the commanders “won’t be able to piece things together in a sensible way, unless they know the area really well.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 24, 2022.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Doja Cat Admits She Wants To ‘Disappear For A Little Bit’ To Focus On Herself

Doja Cat is ready to take a break.

The rapper recently cancelled her summer festival appearances and her tour with the Weeknd due to tonsil surgery and recovery.

She said in a new interview with Elle’s Women in Music” issue: “I’m going to finish this next album, and then I’m going to get the f**k out for a second.”

“I want to disappear for a little bit and just do things like wear slides and go to the farmers market. I don’t give a s**t about vegetables, but how fun! And I want a dog, too. It’s f**ked up that I don’t have a dog. It’s not fair. I want to take care of a dog. I want to raise it and run around in the grass and touch it.”

Doja also spoke about being nominated for eight Grammys in 2022 and her Best Pop Duo/Group Performance win for her collaboration with SZA for “Kiss Me More”.

She shared, “That was insane to me. When they told me how many, I was like, ‘No, no way.’ … That was actually the first show that I cried after. I definitely felt the emotions. I was so happy to be doing it…. I like to downplay a lot of s**t… but it’s a big deal.”

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Doja told the mag of being authentic and how whatever comes out of her mouth will be 100 per cent her: “There’s no formula to win, but I think there’s a formula to lose. If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, people aren’t stupid—they’re going to pick up on that real quick. You just have to believe in yourself. It really sounds like some s**t out of ‘The SpongeBob Movie’, but it’s true.”

Plus, she spoke about her constant social media presence and how she takes a step back from controversies, telling the mag: “I just turn off my phone. I delete things and reopen them when I’m ready. That’s kind of how that works for me.”

GALLERY: Star Spotting

© 2022 Entertainment Tonight Canada, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Sunflower oil shortage could impact baby formula supply, Health Canada says

WATCH: Baby formula shortage in U.S. becoming crisis for parents

Health Canada says it is preparing for the possibility that a shortage of sunflower oil could further strain baby formula supplies in Canada.

The federal agency says it’s “working closely with manufacturers” that rely on sunflower oil as a key ingredient to produce formula that still meets Canadian standards.

That includes efforts to speed up evaluation of any ingredient substitutions, noting that a switch “is considered a major change and it must undergo pre-market assessment.”

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Ukraine and Russia together export half of the world’s sunflower oil, but the ongoing war has seen Russian invaders accused of blocking Ukrainian ports and preventing food staples from leaving.

In the meantime, Health Canada says it will extend a temporary plan to import more baby formula from Europe and the United States to bolster domestic supplies.

The plan to bring 20 infant formulas approved for use in Europe and the United States currently expires June 30. The federal agency says in an emailed statement that “the interim policy will be extended” but did not elaborate.

The national spokeswoman for the Retail Council of Canada says they’ve been told the order will be extended to Dec. 30, 2022.

Last week, the federal agency acknowledged a shortage of infant formulas designed for babies with food allergies and certain medical conditions.

A massive product recall in February led to the shutdown of Abbott Nutrition’s Michigan plant, exacerbating pandemic-era supply chain woes and depleting stock in the United States.

While not as severe here, the Retail Council of Canada says its members have also experienced shortages, and in response restricted online orders and in-person purchases to meet demand.

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Health Canada says the measures are all in service of mitigating further strain on Canadian formula supplies.

“Due to the urgency of the situation, and the critical nature of these products, Health Canada is monitoring the situation closely, and working with manufacturers in regards to infant formula supplies,” the agency said in a statement emailed late last week.

“If additional safety or supply information is identified, Health Canada will take appropriate action and inform Canadians as needed.”

Health Canada introduced the interim order to extend imports March 10, in a bid “to prevent and mitigate shortages,” listing several formulas that grew to 20 by May 9 with the addition of a liquid Enfamil product.

The agency recommended that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency temporarily lift food labelling and “composition requirements” for products from the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Germany that are otherwise comparable to Canadian standards.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Zac Brown Band’s John Driskell Hopkins Insists He’s ‘Ready To Fight’ Following ALS Diagnosis

Zac Brown Band’s John Driskell Hopkins is opening up about his ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) diagnosis.

The musician, who recently told fans about his health in a social media video surrounded by his bandmates, spoke about what first went through his mind when he learned he had the disease in December 2021.

He said on “Good Morning America”: “I don’t believe that I have ever truly had anxiety until this. I am super blessed to have this many incredible people that are lifting me up and it makes it better. It makes me feel less worried and far less anxious. I have sort of shaken the anxiety.”

Hopkins, 51, who lives in Atlanta with his wife of 14 years, Jennifer, and their three daughters, Sarah Grace, 13, and twins Lily Faith and Margaret Hope, 10, first noticed a decline in his motor functions 3 years ago.

He shared, “I’m starting to slur, right now I feel pretty good today but I can’t jump up from the chair and run down the hallway, I would fall. I am wearing half my costume all night because it takes me a little longer to button things and I can’t jog down the hall after everyone else.”

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Hopkins, who has managed to join Zac Brown Band on their “Out In The Middle” tour, insisted of music defining his life, “If I can’t pick up a guitar, then maybe I can program one. I don’t think music will ever not be a part of my life. Even if it’s just making a mixtape.”

The star, who is now dedicating his time to helping find a cure for the disease, also spoke to People about making his peace with the unknown ahead of him.

He said, “No one knows what the condition will be like going forward, so we can’t sit around and cry about it.”

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Hopkins revealed he first started experiencing symptoms, “at 48, you just say, ‘Ah, I can’t jump anymore.'”

However, when his symptoms worsened, his wife Jennifer said they knew they had to “dig deeper.”

Hopkins, who has adopted a gluten and dairy-free diet since the diagnosis, insisted of the future, “I’m ready to fight this disease.

“I want to show my girls what a warrior their dad is.”

GALLERY: Star Spotting

© 2022 Entertainment Tonight Canada, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Cleanup from Saturday's deadly storm will last into June in Kitchener, Cambridge

Cleanup could continue for several weeks across the tri-cities from Saturday’s devastating storm which left at least 10 people dead in Quebec in Ontario.

One of the victims was Shelby Humble-Neale, 27, of Brantford, who the OPP say died after a tree stuck a trailer at Pinehust Conservation area when the storm struck shortly after noon.

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The sudden storm surged through the region on Saturday shortly after lunch, as it left just under 20,000 people without power in Kitchener and Wilmot, Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro spokesperson Kelly McMath told Global News in an email.

She said there were around 2,000 people who were still without power by midnight on Saturday.

“Crews worked through the day on Sunday and by Sunday night most customers in Kitchener had power restored, except for a couple of streets where there were still trees or broken poles and some individual homes still out, and the New Dundee/Petersburg area in Wilmot Township where the wind brought down about a dozen poles and their powerlines,” McMath explained.

She said that the last remaining customers without power in New Dundee and Petersburg had their power turned back on by 2 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

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A spokesperson for Waterloo North Hydro (which serves Waterloo, Wellesley and Woolwich) said that the impact on those areas was much quieter with about 9,000 people left without power.

Jeff Quint said that all major pockets were restored by Saturday evening and on Sunday the rest had been taken care of.

While the power has been turned on across the northern portions of Waterloo Region, that does not mean that the job is done.

Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge say they are still working to clean up the rest of the mess the storm left behind as trees and their branches were left strewn across the three cities.

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Both the cities of Kitchener and Cambridge told Global News that the work to clear away branches will last well into next month.

“The city has to prioritize the work because of the volume,” Kitchener spokesperson Shawn Falcao said.

“Right now, crews are addressing the dangerous and urgent requests. Beginning May 30 crews will be collecting debris and addressing other impacted streets.”

He said that residents should contact the city if they have emergency debris that needs to be dealt with.

“Residents can bring storm debris to their boulevard or curb for collection. Storm debris must be separated from regular waste collection, and it should not block sidewalks or road access,” Falcao explained.

It is a similar situation down south in Cambridge.

“Crews are working throughout the city to clear branches and trees from roads, sidewalks, and yards and will place them on boulevards over the coming days and weeks,” said Michael Hausser, the city’s director of operations.

“Crews will return to remove what is piled on the boulevards in the coming days and weeks.”

He said the city is continuing to assess the damage and will likely not have a timeline for when the cleanup will be completed until later in the week.

— with files from Global News and The Canadian Press

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Harry Styles Reads A Bedtime Story About ‘A House Full Of Love’ For CBeebies

Harry Styles is helping parents get their kids to sleep.

In a new edition of CBeebies’ “Bedtime Stories”, the Harry’s House singer stops by to read the children’s book In Every House On Every Street, written by Jess Hitchman and illustrated by Lili la Baleine.

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“Hello, I’m Harry. Welcome to my house,” Styles, dressed in a set of pyjamas, told the viewers. “I love it here: I like to listen to music, read, and hang out with my friends.

Introducing the book, the singer said, “Tonight’s bedtime story is about a house full of love and laughter.”

After the story was finished, Styles remarked, “I love that story. Every house is different, but every house has something in common: all the wonderful things that families and friends do in them. It doesn’t matter whether you live in a house, a flat, a boat, it’s love that turns wherever you live into a home. Goodnight.”

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Previous celebrity guests on “Bedtime Stories” include Elton John, Dolly Parton, Dave Grohl, Ed Sheeran, and more.

© 2022 Entertainment Tonight Canada, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Broadcast personality Jennifer Valentyne alleges gender discrimination at former employer

Canadian broadcast personality Jennifer Valentyne posted a video to social media on Saturday, detailing allegations of gender discrimination in former broadcast roles that she suggests ultimately led to her being fired.

In a nearly 13-minute video posted to Facebook, Valentyne doesn’t specifically name individuals or companies, but based on comments and her replies to comments, seems to refer to her time working for rock radio station Q107 and Global News Morning (GNM), in addition to a previous broadcast role.

(Both Q107 and GNM are owned and operated by Corus Entertainment.)

“What would you do if a coworker screamed at you, belittled you, called you names, shut you out, brought you to tears, and then laughed when he told you to cry all you want? That he didn’t feel one bit sorry for you, and let you know with utter conviction that if you went to HR, they would choose him?” Valentyne says at the beginning of the video.

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“Would you take a dream job working as a radio host if you knew you would be working with a co-host with accusations of prior abusive behaviour towards women and that you would also be exposed to two, sometimes three men vaping in an enclosed room for four hours a day with no ventilation? Would you complain about it?” she asks in the video.

Valentyne was formerly a host on the popular Derringer in the Morning, hosted by longtime radio personality John Derringer.

A Q107 spokesperson released a statement on Tuesday regarding the allegations.

“We are aware that Ms. Valentyne has voiced concerns about her time in the broadcasting industry, including from her time with us,” it reads.

“A few years ago, Ms. Valentyne’s shared certain concerns and we took action to review at that time. There is also a process underway with the Canadian Human Rights Commission. We have had mediated conversations with her, been responsive to proceedings, and we are waiting determination of next steps. We take these matters seriously and look forward to a resolution.”

“Over the past two days we have received new information about workplace concerns in our station. We have referred these to our ethics and conduct team and will be conducting an external investigation. Effective immediately and during the course of the investigation the show Derringer in the Morning will be on hiatus pending the conclusion of the investigation.

Any concerns involving employee experience are of the utmost importance to us and we are committed to listen, learn and take any appropriate action.”

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In Valentyne’s video, she says that throughout her lengthy broadcast career, she has had to face gender discrimination in the workplace.

“Like so many women, I have put up and shut up,” she says. “But there was one thing I just couldn’t put up with: a company that was willing to put my physical health in jeopardy.”

Valentyne alleges that during her time at Q107, her three coworkers would vape inside the small radio room. She says she developed a chronic cough, lost her voice two times and found it “hard to have to breathe in the smoke every single day.”

She claims she saw two doctors, was given an inhaler and steroids, and then asked to have a supervisor sit in the room with them, or to have another woman in there with her.

She says she began to throw up most mornings before she went into the room, sometimes would cry in the washroom during songs and would walk into the studio shortly before the show started “to avoid breathing in the smoky air.”

“I was shocked to find out that other employees had bets on how long I would last in that room,” she alleges.

Valentyne says she was eventually told she would be placed in another job, moving from radio back to TV. She says she didn’t want to move and give up the job she “had been hired to do.”

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Valentyne says she went through “major depression,” kept to herself, and took time to consider all that had occurred, and she eventually decided to file a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission for gender discrimination.

Q107 and ‘Global News Morning’ are both properties of Corus Entertainment.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

More action needed as military members struggle to find housing, says Anand

WATCH: More government action needed for military members struggling to find housing, Anand says

Canada’s defence minister says the federal government has more to do to support Canadian Forces members who are struggling to find housing.

Anita Anand says the government has taken several steps to help address affordability concerns for military members and their families.

Anand says the government put in place several measures to give military members more flexibility in their work, including remote work options.

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She says the government increased the rates of pay for military members in 2021.

She also says Canadians across the country are facing housing shortages.

A recent email encouraging Canadian Armed Forces members to consider Habitat for Humanity is shedding light on how rising home and rental prices are affecting military personnel.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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