Here's what it takes to buy a home in Canada's 'soul-crushing' housing market

WATCH: The dream of homeownership is looking increasingly bleak for a majority of Canadians shut out of the housing market, according to a new poll from Ipsos. Anne Gaviola reports on the new findings, and whether measures meant to clear a path to homeownership will have an impact.

Signs that the Canadian housing market might be cooling are coming too late for many prospective homebuyers, as their ability to save for a home is dampened by inflation and rising interest rates limit their ability to catch up the high home prices marked by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first quarter of 2022 saw the worst decline in housing affordability nationwide in 27 years, according to a report released Wednesday from National Bank of Canada, with rising mortgage rates pegged as a key factor sidelining would-be buyers.

For Global News’ Sticker Shock series helping Canadians navigate rampant inflation, we spoke to experts and homebuyers exasperated by the eroding housing affordability in the country and broke down how some might be able to make the purchase work.

More:

Inflation calculator — How do rising prices affect your personal finances?

Shelter, or housing-related costs, was one of the biggest factors driving up the annual rate of inflation to a decades-high 6.8 per cent last month, according to Statistics Canada.

Though some markets such as Toronto saw prices ease month-to-month in April, prices in the GTA were still up more than 15 per cent year-over-year.

Tembeka Pratt, a 30-year-old management consultant looking to buy a home with her partner in the city, says it’s “heartbreaking” to see their dream of owning a home so far out of reach.

“I really don’t know how people in my generation or younger are going to be able to afford something just to get into the market,” she tells Global News.

Couple together in home

Tembeka Pratt and her fiancé Olasunkanmi Adebero say they are disheartened by their hunt for a home in Toronto.

Provided

Pratt tells Global News that she and her partner have been saving up to buy a home for the past two years, something she’s dreamed of for more than a decade.

She put a prudent plan in place over the pandemic: she worked towards a higher-paying job that now earns her a roughly $100,000 salary, well above the average $51,500 annual income the typical Toronto resident their age took home in 2020, per the latest StatCan data.

Together with her partner, the two have a combined income of roughly $200,000.

But National Bank’s affordability monitor shows the annual income needed to afford the median or “representative” non-condo home in Toronto rose to $228,100 in the first quarter of the year.

housing affordability chart

National Bank of Canada tracks the household income needed to afford the representative home in 10 Canadian markets.

Pratt says she’s been disheartened to see how little her hard work to bring in a six-figure salary can actually get the couple in Toronto’s hot market.

“You would think that that would open so many doors for you, when in reality it’s just not possible,” she says.

The couple is ready to adjust expectations and are looking at townhome properties in the $700,000-to-$800,000 range around the outer limits of the GTA, but there, too, prices are high.

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) said earlier this month that townhome prices in the so-called 905, outside the city core, hit an average of $997,416 in April.

The inability for younger Canadians to break into the market is a familiar story to Paul Kershaw, professor at the University of British Columbia and founder of Generation Squeeze, which looks at eroding housing affordability across the country.

Someone buying a home in the 1970s needed only five years of full-time work under their belt to afford a home in Canada, he says, while that figure has risen to 17 years of work. It takes 22-27 years in markets such as Ontario and B.C.

“The amount of work required today to try to break into home ownership has increased so dramatically and in such a soul-crushing way for a younger demographic or a newcomer of any age,” he says.

Leah Zlatkin, a mortgage broker and expert with lowestrates.ca, says the salary band and price range Pratt and her partner have in mind are a “great starting point” if they manage to find a home that fits their needs.

She says that an individual or couple can typically qualify for mortgages equal to four or five times their income, which could put Pratt and her partner’s affordable range between $800,000 and $1,000,000, depending on their liabilities and whether they take on a fixed or variable-rate mortgage.

Saving for the down payment can be the tricky part in today’s market, however.

A minimum down-payment is equal to five per cent of the home’s purchase price for the first $500,000, 10 per cent of the next $499,999, and rises to 20 per cent above a million dollars.

A sample home at $75,000 would have a minimum down payment of 6.67 per cent, or roughly $50,000.

Hitting the 20-per cent bar on a down payment can also help a buyer avoid paying the mortgage insurance premiums from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), which are typically tacked onto the monthly cost of the mortgage.

“So you won’t feel it upfront, but you will feel it across the duration of your mortgage,” Zlatkin says.

chart comparing monthly mortgages

Data from lowestrates.ca shows how high monthly payments would be for a sample home, based on the type of mortgage and down payment size.

Global News

The decision of whether to try and save to hit the 20-per cent mark or get in with the minimum upfront payment and higher monthly fees comes down to how aggressively you can save, she notes.

The longer you take to save up for a down payment, the more home prices can escalate, raising the overall amount you have to put down.

“It’s like you’re constantly chasing the car that’s slowly rolling downhill. You have to really be able to save that money aggressively in order to catch up to that car,” Zlatkin says.

Read more:

As inflation surges, Canadians find creative ways to save, cut costs

The down payment and monthly mortgage costs aren’t the only things you need to factor into a purchase, however.

Land-transfer taxes at a cost of $11,445 are paid at both the municipal and provincial levels in Toronto, for example, though rebates are available for first-time buyers in each case.

There are legal fees and title insurance that come with closing a purchase you’ll have to account for, as well as annual property taxes — something most buyers coming from renting have not had to factor into their budgets previously.

“So you want to be really cautious and you want to do your research to understand what those upfront costs might be for somebody who’s looking to buy that first home,” Zlatkin says.

Kershaw says that “housing inflation” is tolerated differently than, say, inflation on the price of gasoline because Canadian homeowners are the ones who generate wealth when real estate prices rise, as opposed to a faceless corporation.

While the Baby Boomer generation has been happy to see their homes rise in value — and even lend some of that equity to their kids to break into the same market — Kershaw says we need a societal shift to show the impact on our younger demographics when we expect home prices to only go up.

“We’ve wanted housing to be this great grower of our wealth, and we need to stop if we think housing should be delivering affordability, because you can’t have it be both,” he says.

Kershaw says he was heartened to hear Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland recently refer to the gap in housing affordability as an “intergenerational injustice,” and hopes it’s the start of a wider policy discussion that could see an end to unchecked growth in the housing market that leaves the youngest Canadians sidelined.

Read more:

Sky-high home prices in Canada are ‘intergenerational injustice,’ Freeland says

Pratt acknowledges that this understanding of what a home represents for an adult’s financial stability is part of what attracts her to the ideal of homeownership.

“It’s something that will outlive you and can create generational wealth,” she says.

“My parents own their home and pretty much everyone around me owns a home. So it was almost like a given that that’s the next step as you get older.”

Pratt and her partner are willing to be patient, she says, in an effort to avoid jumping at a home and ending up “house poor.” The couple, who’s also saving for a wedding this summer, hopes to get into the market in the next two-to-five years.

“We’re just going to go at our own pace,” she says. “We will own at some point, but we’re not going to deplenish our savings just to get into the market.”

— with files from Global News’s Anne Gaviola

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

London, Ont. officials planning for Canada Day fireworks response after Victoria Day complaints

Officials in London, Ont., say planning is underway for how the city will respond to fireworks on Canada Day after celebrations over the Victoria Day long weekend yielded a series of complaints.

Under the city’s current firework bylaw, Londoners are only allowed to set off fireworks between dusk and 11 p.m. on Victoria Day and Canada Day.

Some exceptions apply and fireworks can be set off during those times on the Saturday preceding or following Canada Day if the holiday happens to land on a weekday.

Read more:

Petition calling for recreational fireworks ban in Nova Scotia growing

Ward 2 Coun. Shawn Lewis says he received “quite a number of complaints” indicating the bylaw wasn’t followed over Victoria Day.

“The big thing that’s bothering people is the fireworks that are being set off at midnight, 1 a.m., 2 a.m., disrupting people’s sleep, scaring animals,” Lewis told Global News.

Lewis brought up those complaints during Tuesday’s meeting of city council to ask city staff whether additional bylaw enforcement staff were available on Victoria Day, as well as what plans are being put in place to prevent similar complaints from arising come Canada Day.

The city councillor says he also raised the the matter because 2021’s Victoria Day firework response included additional staff and an after-hours phone line to field complaints.

“Staff indicated when I asked last night that they hadn’t staffed up and there wasn’t that after-hours number available … so I asked them to look into making sure that was available for people heading into Canada Day,” Lewis said.

“I have no problem with people having fun and enjoying the firework celebrations — I enjoy them myself — but they’ve got to be at the right time on the right days. They’ve got to respect the bylaw.”

Read more:

Vancouver’s ban on sale and use of consumer fireworks in effect Nov. 1

Deputy Fire Chief Matt Hepditch says the London Fire Department and other city officials are now in talks on how to prepare for fireworks on Canada Day.

“We have to have some conversations still to determine what exactly we’re going to do, but believe me it is in the works. There’s a lot of conversation, a lot of dialogue with regards to enforcement and with regards to how we staff these matters,” Hepditch said.

Even if additional staff are provided, there may still be some challenges when it comes to enforcing London’s firework bylaw.

Hepditch says that’s because most complaints only include an area of where fireworks are being discharged, rather than a specific location. Even if a specific location is provided, there’s a chance the illegal firework display could be over by the time officials arrive.

“What we need to do is we need to increase our education again, get more information out to the community and that’s one of the things I believe we will do,” Hepditch added.

As for complaints, Hepditch said the fire department received more than 30 over the weekend, including one call where firefighters responded to fireworks being discharged in a park, though no injuries were reported as a result.

Read more:

‘It was one Roman candle’: Family in legal battle after losing Vancouver home to fireworks

Elsewhere, a petition that calls for the outright ban on the sale and use of fireworks in London has garnered more than 2,000 signatures since its launch 10 months ago and received new support over the long weekend.

Lewis, the councillor pushing for additional resources to respond to firework complaints on Canada Day, disagrees with implementing a ban, adding that Londoners looking to buy fireworks could just shop in a neighbouring municipality.

“The reality is we already have a ban on fireworks 362 days of the calendar year and that hasn’t stopped fireworks from being set off outside of the prescribed times,” Lewis said.

“We also don’t want to be the city that fun forgot.”

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

45% of voters believe Doug Ford, PCs will win Ontario election: Ipsos poll

Nearly half of Ontario voters believe Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservatives will win the provincial election next week, a new poll has found.

The survey, conducted by Ipsos exclusively for Global News, found that 45 per cent of respondents said they think the PCs will be re-elected on June 2.

Fourteen per cent said they believe Steven Del Duca and the Liberals will win on election day, while 10 per cent said the same of Andrea Horwath and the Ontario New Democratic Party (NDP).

One in three — 32 per cent — said they don’t know who will win the provincial election.

Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs, told Global News that the polling shows there is a “real expectation among voters that regardless of how they vote, that the Ford Progressive Conservatives are going to win re-election.”

“Even people who are currently voting for the Liberal Party — about 14 per cent — or for the NDP about 10 per cent, still think that their parties aren’t going to win,” he said. “They’re there with them in spirit, but they don’t necessarily think that there’s going to be an effect on the outcome.”

Read more:

Ontario election 2022: Here’s what the PCs, NDP, Liberals and Greens have promised so far

The survey was conducted May 17-19 and found that six in ten (61 per cent) of Ontarians said they are “completely certain” they will vote on election day.

This marks a very slight increase over the 58 per cent of voters that turned out for the 2018 provincial election.

However, Bricker said he expects the actual turnout will be lower.

“My expectation is that it would be nice if we got something close to the last campaign, but the last campaign was much more uncertain,” Bricker said. “When campaigns matter or the outcome is more uncertain, then people tend to participate more.”

He said he expects the actual voter turnout on June 2 to be “a bit lower” than in 2018.

The poll found that 74 per cent of those who have declared their support for the Progressive Conservatives said they are certain to vote this time.

Meanwhile, 71 per cent of NDP supporters, 65 per cent of Liberal supporters and 42 per cent of Green Party supporters said they are certain to vote on election day.

What’s more, 51 per cent of respondents who have decided who they will vote for said they are “absolutely certain” of their vote choice and won’t change their mind before election day.

Sixty-six per cent of PC voters said they are certain of their choice, while 51 per cent of Liberal voters, 36 per cent of NDP and 19 per cent of Green Party voters said the same.

Read more:

The NDP says it’s 10 seats away from toppling Doug Ford. Does the math add up?

The data also shows that the Liberals (20 per cent), NDP (19 per cent) and Green Party (17 per cent) are all “nearly equally favoured” as the province’s second-choice.

However, the survey found only 12 per cent would choose the PCs as their second choice.

Here’s a look at who party supporters would pick as their second choice:

PC voters: 

  • 18 per cent would choose NDP as their second choice
  • 17 per cent would choose the Liberals as their second choice
  • 14 per cent would vote for the Green Party as their second choice
  • 20 per cent said they wouldn’t vote if they couldn’t vote for the PCs as their first choice

Liberal voters:

  • 41 per cent would choose the NDP as their second choice
  • 18 per cent would vote for the PCs as their second choice
  • 12 per cent would vote for the Green Party as their second choice
  • 10 per cent said they wouldn’t vote if they couldn’t vote for the Liberals as their first choice

NDP voters:

  • 42 per cent would choose the Liberals as their second choice
  • 28 per cent would vote for the Green Party as their second choice
  • 16 per cent would choose the PCs as their second choice
  • 11 per cent said they wouldn’t vote if they couldn’t vote for the NDP as their first choice

Green voters:

  • 22 per cent would choose the Liberals as their second choice
  • 21 per cent would pick the NDP as their second choice
  • 10 per cent said they would vote for the PCs as their second choice
  • 21 per cent said they wouldn’t vote if they couldn’t vote for the Green Party as their first choice.

Read more:

Doug Ford and the PCs maintain tight grip on Ontario election race: Ipsos poll

Thirty per cent of Ontarians said they agree that their primary goal on election day is to stop the PCs from winning.

A total of 57 per cent of those surveyed said they believe the Liberals have a better chance of defeating the Tories, while 43 per cent said the same of the NDP.

Among those who think the Liberals have the better chance, 43 per cent said they are voting for the Liberals.

Of those who think the NDP has a better chance of defeating the PCs, 42 per cent are voting for the NDP.

Bricker said in individual ridings, this could result in strategic voting at the polls.

“Maybe the Liberals and the NDP and the Greens will gang-up in order to elect a more progressive candidate and stop the Progressive Conservatives from winning in a specific riding,” he said. “But the problem with that strategy is it doesn’t really seem that anybody’s certain on the progressive side what the best choice is.”

Bricker said in most election cycles, the progressive primary “ends at some point.”

This time around, though, Bricker said the “progressive primary continues on.”

With only one week to go before Ontario voters head to the polls, Bricker said the parties are “going to have to demonstrate that they’re the ones that are most likely to be able to form the official opposition and really take on the Progressive Conservative Party.”

Bricker said things are “shaping up very well for the Progressive Conservatives.”

“Simply because the opposition parties are split all over the place and can’t consolidate in a way that really threatens the incumbent,” he said.

Bricker said “at the moment” Progressive voters are undecided.

“There seems to be a little bit more momentum among the Liberal Party supporters,” he said. “But, you know, incumbency is a powerful factor in election campaigns.”

He said “some of the most interesting races” likely to be seen in Ontario on June 2 are races where an NDP incumbent is facing a “strong Liberal challenger.”

“Those tend to be more downtown ridings, particularly in the City of Toronto, but also in places like Ottawa, London, Kitchener, Waterloo — some of the bigger centres around the province of Ontario.”

He said he expects races will be “pretty close in a lot of those ridings.”

METHODOLOGY: This Ipsos poll was conducted between May 17 and May 19 on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of n = 1501 Ontarians aged 18+ was interviewed online (1,001) and by telephone (500). Quotas and weighting were employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the population according to census information. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 2.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would be had all Ontarians been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error.

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

Whitecaps down Cavalry FC in penalty kicks in Canadian Championship quarterfinal

Cristian Gutierrez scored on a penalty kick to give the Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer a win over Cavalry FC of the Canadian Premier League in an exciting quarterfinal match of the Canadian Championships at ATCO Field.

Gutierrez’s goal came after Vancouver goalkeeper Cody Cropper had made a diving save to stop a shot from Cavalry’s Ali Musse.

Mayer Bevan gave Cavalry a 1-0 lead in the 72nd minute with a rocket of a shot from distance that went over Cropper’s fingertips.

Vancouver’s Erik Godoy tied the match in the 85th minute, heading in a corner kick from Deiber Caicedo. That came just a few minutes after a Cavalry defender had cleared a Whitecaps shot off the goal line.

With the scored tied after regulation the game went directly to penalty shots.

After a slow start Cavalry began to take over the match in the second half. Bevan turned an innocent looking play into a goal with a blistering shot. It was Bevan’s third goal of the tournament.

READ MORE: Vancouver Whitecaps look to buck road woes against expansion side Charlotte FC

Vancouver now faces York United FC on June 21.

The win also helped exorcise some ghosts for the Whitecaps.

During the 2019 Canadian Championships Cavalry upset the Whitecaps with a 2-1 aggregate win, the first victory for a CPL team over an MLS opponent.

Earlier Wednesday, MLS side CF Montreal defeated CPL’s Forge FC 3-0.

READ MORE: CF Montreal on to Canadian Championship semi after dumping Forge FC

The Whitecaps showed how seriously they were taking the match with a starting lineup that featured MLS veterans like forward Lucas Cavallini, midfielders Russell Teibert and midfielder Ryan Gauld and defenders Erik Godoy and Javain Brown.

The teams were tied 0-0 after the first half despite the Whitecaps holding an advantage of play. The Whitecaps led 9-3 in shots and were 2-0 with shots on goal.

Cavallini, one of the players being considered for Canada’s World Cup team, had a pair of great scoring chances. Early in the half he headed a pass from Cristian Gutierrez that Cavalry goalkeeper Marco Carducci stopped. Later, Cavallini was left open in front of the net but a Cavalry defender was able to get his foot on the shot, sending it over the net.

Late in the opening half Gauld sent a shot just wide of the corner of the net.

Cavalry threatened early in the second half off a corner kick. Daan Klomp took the ball and fired a shot through a maze of players that Cropper, who just came of COVID-19 protocol, was able to grab.

In the 69th minute Cavalry’s Victor Loturi fired a left-footed shot over top of the Vancouver net.

READ MORE: Calgary’s Marco Carducci posts shutout in return to Cavalry FC after cancer battle

It was a physical match with both teams dealing out some heavy tackles. Teibert left the match early in the second half being hit in the face by the ball with just a few minutes left in the opening half.

The Whitecaps lost 2-1 to Charlotte Sunday and currently sit at the bottom of the MLS Western Conference standings with a 3-7-2 record.

Cavalry came into the game unbeaten in its last four CPL appearances (3-0-1) and sitting second in the league standings with a 3-2-2 record.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

New cardiac clinic open at HSC Children's Hospital

Children with cardiac needs have a new and improved space to receive care in Winnipeg.

The Travis Price Children’s Heart Centre officially opened at HSC Winnipeg Children’s Hospital Wednesday.

It includes a dedicated space for exercise/running tests, three full ultrasound rooms, private exam rooms, family counselling space and is located within seconds of the children’s ER and ICU.

“Any child under the age of 18 who has suspected heart diseases – this is where they come, ” Dr. Reeni Soni, Medical Director of Pediatric Cardiology at HSC Children’s said.

“And for many of them, it is an 18-year journey where the heart centre becomes like a second home. The quality of the space for those families is so important.”

RELATED: As heart complications rise, Canadian hospitals might buckle, experts say

The old heart centre was built in 1984, was not set within the hospital building, could only serve 1,800 children and many families still needed to travel out of province for tests and procedures.

The new space, which can now serve 6,000 patients per year, is named after Travis Price, who died from an undiagnosed heart condition in 2004.

The centre is part of the cardiac campaign, which has raised $17.7 million for new cardiac technology and spaces including new catheterization and fluoroscopy labs and remote monitored beds on every inpatient unit.

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

Fan building fence as tribute to Oilers' playoff run says project prompted by team building belief

As Warren Sillanpaa and several helpers swung their hammers and put the finishing touches on a fence outside his Edmonton home on Wednesday, fans of the city’s NHL hockey team cheered them on.

“I’ve had people honking and going by and (yelling), ‘Go Oilers!’ and stuff like that,” the painter chuckled.

A photo of Warren Sillanpaa. He and several of his helpers put the finishing touches on an Oilers fence outside his Edmonton home on Wednesday.

A photo of Warren Sillanpaa. He and several of his helpers put the finishing touches on an Oilers fence outside his Edmonton home on Wednesday.

Global News

The wooden fence is pleasing puck fanatics in Alberta’s capital because it is a tribute to the Edmonton Oilers, meant to cheer the team on as it competes to emerge victorious in the latest Battle of Alberta playoff series. If they win, the Oilers will earn a spot in the NHL’s Western Conference final, a feat they have not achieved in 16 years.

READ MORE: With fans on edge amid the Battle of Alberta, rekindled rivalry may actually be reducing stress

“(I’m) trying to get the city riled up for the Oilers’ (Stanley) Cup run,” Sillanpaa said, noting the project, which he says took about 30 to 40 hours, only got underway a day earlier.

A wooden fence is pleasing hockey fans in Alberta's capital because it is a tribute to the Edmonton Oilers and meant to cheer the team on in the playoffs.

A wooden fence is pleasing hockey fans in Alberta's capital because it is a tribute to the Edmonton Oilers and meant to cheer the team on in the playoffs.

Wes Rosa/ Global News

The fence features paintings of jerseys worn by some of the Oilers players most beloved by fans. There are only nine jerseys featured because that’s all Sillanpaa’s fence has room for. He said he hopes the fence will help foster “a sense of community.”

READ MORE: Oilers strike early and late to beat Flames 5-3 in Game 4

Until the Oilers put the rival Calgary Flames on the ropes with Tuesday’s Game 4 win, giving Edmonton a 3-1 series lead, he had been a bit “apprehensive” about erecting the fence. He does not want to jinx the team’s future playoff success.

“Everybody’s a little apprehensive right now,” Sillanpaa said. “Just (based on) what happened the last couple of years — getting taken out by lesser teams.”

A wooden fence is pleasing hockey fans in Alberta's capital because it is a tribute to the Edmonton Oilers and meant to cheer the team on in the playoffs.

A wooden fence is pleasing hockey fans in Alberta's capital because it is a tribute to the Edmonton Oilers and meant to cheer the team on in the playoffs.

Wes Rosa/ Global News

But the Edmontonian has built a similar fence before and it did not appear to cast any type of spell on the hockey club’s playoff fortunes. That was in 2006, the last time the Oilers reached the Stanley Cup final before losing the series in Game 7 to the Carolina Hurricanes.

“I’m hoping for that and a win,” Sillanpaa said. “That’s the hope.

“It wasn’t a team of superstars like we have now.”

READ MORE: Woodcroft has Edmonton Oilers a win away from reaching NHL Western Conference final

It wasn’t until 2015 that the Oilers drafted a centre who many in the hockey world argue is now easily the most dominant player on the planet. Connor McDavid has mesmerized fans with his moves and the magnitude of his competitiveness.

Not only that, but fellow forward Leon Draisaitl continues to pile up points while Evander Kane is scoring at a pace that rivals some of the best playoff performances ever put on by hockey goal-scorers. Goaltender Mike Smith has often been stellar this post-season and the whole team appears to have elevated its play.

“Go Oilers go,” said Sillanpaa, adding that he believes there will be more visible expressions of Oilers support appearing in Edmonton neighbourhoods as the team continues its winning ways.

“That’s how we do it here in Edmonton. (I) can’t wait to see what they do.”

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

Body of missing canoer found in northern Alberta: RCMP

The search for a canoer who went missing in northern Alberta over the weekend has come to an end after his body was found on Wednesday, according to the RCMP.

In a news release issued Wednesday night, police said the body has been identified as a 46-year-old Fort McMurray man and that his family has been notified. They did not say where his body was found.

At about 12:15 p.m. on Saturday, Wood Buffalo RCMP were told about two missing canoers — one in his 40s and another in his 80s — on the Ellis River, north of Fort MacKay.

“The pair were paddling in a group which consisted of another dual-operator canoe, a single-operator canoe and a single-operator kayak,” police said. “The party of six canoers and the kayaker had been on the Ellis River for approximately 60 minutes.

“The group lost sight of the red 16-foot canoe around 12:15 p.m., and called RCMP concerned for the safety of the two men.”

READ MORE: 1 man dead, another canoer missing on Athabasca River north of Fort MacKay

A search effort got underway and about 4:15 p.m. that day, an overturned canoe was found along with the body of the older of the two missing men. Police continued their search for the second boater afterward and expanded its scope to include the Athabasca River.

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

Kamloops scraps Canada Day fireworks over wildfire concerns

The City of Kamloops is scrapping fireworks as a part of its Canada Day celebration this year due to concern about potential wildfires.

In a Wednesday media release, the city said it made the decision after reflecting on last year’s excessive heat, and the risk that a fireworks display could contribute to a fire within the city or on Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc land.

Read more:

A report into Lytton, B.C., wildfire suggests more community fireproofing needed

“Our landscape in Kamloops is very susceptible to drying out quickly. As the temperature rises in the coming months, so will the fire danger rating,” Deputy Fire Chief Ryan Cail said.

“With weather becoming more extreme and less predictable, we have a responsibility to protect life, property, and the environment.”

The city said it understands people may be disappointed with the decision, but that it was made in the interest of safety.

Kamloops will proceed with its otherwise-planned July 1 full day of events at Riverside Park, which include a pancake breakfast, community festivities, food and the season opener of Music in the Park.

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

Despite push for school safety policies after Texas shooting, research shows they do little

WATCH: 'You are doing nothing': Agony and anger rise in aftermath of Uvalde, Texas school shooting

Safety policies designed to protect schools from mass shootings have done little to deter them and may even be harmful to students, research shows, despite a renewed push for such measures in the wake of Tuesday’s shooting in Texas.

The 18-year-old gunman who killed at least 19 children and two teachers at a Uvalde elementary school was able to evade armed police officers and other security protocols already in place. Yet some U.S. lawmakers are arguing those policies are needed, and should be reinforced, instead of pursuing meaningful gun control.

“We have years of data suggesting that these measures, while they have been impacting school outcomes, they haven’t been necessarily changing the trajectories or the trends in actual injury and deaths,” said Odis Johnson, executive director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Safe and Healthy Schools in Washington, D.C.

Read more:

Everything we know so far about the Texas mass school shooting

Johnson and other researchers have found evidence that school safety policies — including on-campus police officers, metal detectors, and increased surveillance systems like security cameras — have a negative impact on education itself.

Students at schools that rely on such policies for safety often achieve lower test scores and rates of college admission compared to other schools, the research suggests.

One representative study released last year, which was co-authored by Johnson, found students at “high-surveillance” schools were more likely to face in-school suspension, achieved lower math scores and were less likely to attend college than students at “low-surveillance” schools.

The study also found such safety protocols predominantly impacted racialized students, with Black students four times as likely to attend schools considered “high-surveillance.”

Meanwhile, gun violence at schools is on the rise in the U.S. The National Center for Education Statistics has found the number of school shootings resulting in injuries or death has increased steadily over the last seven years.

There have been 137 shooting incidents at schools so far this year — almost one a day — and there were 249 last year, according to David Riedman, lead researcher at the K-12 School Shooting Database at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security. It tracks every incident in which a gun is brandished or fired or a bullet hits school property.

“What is becoming more prevalent is systematic gun violence at schools is dramatically increasing, especially at high schools. This is due to students carrying weapons and conflicts escalating to the point of gun violence,” Riedman told Reuters.

Read more:

Texas school shooting: What’s changed in U.S. gun control since Sandy Hook?

Johnson says school safety measures do not address the prevalence of guns in the country and the ease with which people can access them, including the Uvalde shooter, who purchased the weapons used in the massacre shortly after his 18th birthday.

They also don’t necessarily stop people outside a school from entering and opening fire.

“What is needed is an understanding that schools are embedded within communities and cities that have a problem with gun control,” he said.

In the wake of the 2018 shooting at Santa Fe High School that killed 10 people and wounded 13 others, Texas lawmakers focused instead on improving school safety, including mandatory emergency training for all school employees and improved mental health care for students.

A new state law, which passed in 2019, required school districts to create “threat assessment teams” for every campus as well as “bleeding control stations,” which are essentially battlefield tourniquet kits in schools.

On Tuesday, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick continued to insist that schools need to be further secured, telling Fox News that officials must “harden these targets so nobody can get in.”

Other Republican lawmakers in Texas and elsewhere used similar language while speaking to conservative media on Tuesday and Wednesday. Attorney General Ken Paxton called for arming teachers, while Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said more armed police officers are needed on campuses.

Cruz also suggested on Wednesday that schools should only “have one door into and out of the school” that is protected by armed officers, doing away with other entry points. He also mentioned bulletproof windows and doors were needed.

Robb Elementary — the small elementary school in Uvalde, a heavily Latino community, where Tuesday’s shooting took place — has four armed police officers stationed on campus as part of its two-page list of preventative safety measures. Other measures include a threat assessment team, multiple on-campus police officers, security cameras and metal detectors.

Officials say one of the officers stationed at the school exchanged gunfire with the shooter, who still managed to make his way inside the school to kill students and teachers. The shooter was wearing tactical gear, according to official reports.

Johnson said focusing more on common sense gun control would also help those officers.

“I don’t know of a police officer out there who believes that their job is easier with more guns on the street, and easier access to those guns, and less responsibility in making sure they’re secured from young people,” he said.

Read more:

Texas school shooting: ‘Adventurous’ teacher, ‘sweetest little boy’ among 21 dead

Securing schools has also proven to be a profitable industry, reaching $2.7 billion in revenue in 2017, according to market research firm Omdia. The firm predicted then that revenue would grow to $2.8 billion by 2021, but the COVID-19 pandemic led to a drop in spending.

Yet in 2018, a Washington Post survey of schools that had experienced a shooting in the six years since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., found only one school that suggested such safety measures could have made a difference.

Johnson suggests lawmakers who are pushing school safety measures ahead of gun reform “haven’t caught up to these more recent trends” in his research and gun violence statistics, which has been available for years.

“I don’t know how long the lag has to be before lawmakers get the message that recent events suggest a change in approach is necessary,” he said.

— With files from Reuters

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

Grade 6 student prompts government to install feral horse signs in Oliver, B.C.

After months of research, interviews, and surveys conducted by a Grade 6 student, the government agreed to install more feral horse crossing signs in Oliver, B.C.

Grade 6 student Delia Graham has convinced the provincial government to help better protect feral horses in the town of Oliver.

After months of research, interviews, and surveys conducted by Delia, the government agreed to install more feral horse crossing signs in town.

“I chose this project because I value the life of everybody, and I believe everybody should have a chance to live a nice life,” said Delia Graham at Senpaq’cin School.

“It feels really good because I was getting a bit stressed seeing if I could get them put up or not and the signs should be arriving in the next month.”

Each year, grades 6 and 7 students at Senpaq’cin School are tasked with a large community project as part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program.

Read more:

Feral horses near Oliver rounded up for sale, slaughter

Julie Shaw, Senpaq’cin School’s principal said students were given the opportunity to choose a topic that they are passionate about.

“Students have worked really hard to find something that they want to take action on to align with the IB mission and vision,” said Shaw. “As well as our own school mission and vision, how do we have a sustainable world and make it a better place for all to enjoy in the future.”

This year the projects were based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and of the 17 goals Delia chose number 15 called “Life on Land.”

“We call them the Global Goals. Each student picked one that really meant a lot to them and from there they found a community-based project that had to do with that goal,” said Senpaq’cin School teacher Jesse Martin.

Delia wasn’t the only student who made a significant difference in the community as eight projects were presented during Thursday’s student exhibition.

Students Quila Woodhouse and Rowan Mutambudzi presented their project on the Canadian water crisis on reserves.

“We wanted to raise awareness because it is a really big issue,” said Rowan. “Water is really important it keeps us alive, so we wanted to do our project on that.”

Grade 7 students Phoenix Batik-Michas and her partner presented a project about proper pet care.

“We focused on spreading awareness on pet care, we both love animals very much,” said Phoenix.

“We wanted to help animals because we’ve noticed a lot of misinformation surrounding pet care and just pets in general.”

Other projects that were presented included “The Benefits of Basketball” by Nico Faugno and Leeland George, “Grade Six and Seven Gathering Day” by Samera Gabriel, and “Supporting Local Women Shelters” by Mya Woodhouse and Teckla Eustache-Ingram.

Meanwhile, The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has agreed to add five new feral horse crossing signs. Three will be installed on Black Sage Road and two on McKinney Road.

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

You May Also Like

Top Stories