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Andrew Scheer falls short — but vows Conservatives will be ready next time

Andrew Scheer falls short — but vows Conservatives will be ready next time


Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer ran his party’s federal election campaign as a referendum on the performance of Justin Trudeau and the Liberals over the last four years.

Now the results are in: a minority government for Trudeau, a slightly larger caucus for the Conservatives — and new pressure on Scheer’s leadership.

Beyond a promise to voters to make life more affordable through tax cuts, Scheer said Canadians should back Conservatives in this election because Trudeau had lost the “moral authority to govern” after the SNC-Lavalin scandal and the ‘brownface’ photos surfaced. A substantial number of Canadians didn’t agree.

While Scheer did not pick up enough seats to form a government, he did hold Trudeau to a minority. But more than that, the Conservative party appears to have won the popular vote thanks in part to lopsided victories in the West.

In his address to party supporters Monday, Scheer gave no indication that he would be resigning his position as leader.

“While tonight’s result isn’t what we wanted, I’m also incredibly proud, proud of our team and proud of the bigger and stronger Conservative team that we’ll send to Ottawa,” Scheer said.

Andrew Scheer says the Conservatives are the ‘government in waiting’

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says he’s looking forward to heading back to Ottawa with a bigger Conservative team while speaking to reporters in Regina, Sask.  1:29

“Tonight, Conservatives have put Justin Trudeau on notice and Mr. Trudeau, when your government falls, Conservatives will be ready and we will win.”

Scheer failed to substantially bolster his party’s standings in the House of Commons. The Conservatives return to Parliament with roughly 20 more seats than former prime minister Stephen Harper won in 2015.

In once deep-blue ridings in places like Atlantic Canada and Ontario, Liberal candidates managed to fight off their Conservative challengers. The party failed to make any gains in Quebec. Deputy party leader Lisa Raitt, a Conservative stalwart and a Red Tory, went down to defeat in the suburban Toronto riding of Milton.

Conservative Deputy Leader Lisa Raitt loses in Milton, Ont.

In her concession speech, Ontario Conservative candidate Lisa Raitt says it has been an honour to serve as the deputy leader of her party. 0:51

The Conservative election strategy — sticking to tried-and-true Conservative policies like tax cuts while rejecting substantive climate action to motivate the dedicated Tory base — failed to sway enough independent-minded voters in Central and Eastern Canada.

Scheer was able to tap into the palpable anger in Western Canada — particularly in the Prairies, where the Liberal government has been accused of stifling the oil and gas sector with policies like the northern B.C. oil tanker ban and the controversial overhaul of the environmental assessment regime.

Conservative candidates toppled all Liberal MPs in Alberta and Saskatchewan, including long-time Liberal MP and cabinet minister Ralph Goodale. In Alberta, Conservative candidates secured an eye-popping 70 per cent of the vote. In Saskatchewan, Tories swept all the seats with more than 67 per cent of the vote.

But Scheer’s future as Conservative leader is now in doubt.

Scheer said Monday’s result is just the “first step” and the popular vote success of the party in this election means that the Conservatives are now the “government in waiting.”

Under the Conservative Party constitution, if the party fails to form government — and if the leader has not yet formally signalled an intention to resign — then delegates can vote at the next party convention to hold a leadership race. If more more than 50 per cent of the votes cast at the convention favour such an option, that would trigger a leadership race.

Of course, Scheer might resign before that leadership review vote is even necessary.

Andrew Scheer’s full election night speech

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer speaks to supporters in Regina, Sask. Scheer won his Regina-Qu’Appelle riding. 10:44

While Trudeau’s campaign was beset by scandal, Scheer also faced questions about his resume and his political positions. Scheer appeared awkward when asked about social issues like gay marriage and abortion. There were also questions about his past as an insurance broker (he was never actually licensed to sell insurance) and his dual Canada-U.S. citizenship.

Scheer was first elected in his adopted hometown of Regina in 2004, beating long-time NDP MP Lorne Nystrom.

After years on the Conservative backbench in opposition and then in government, Scheer served as deputy speaker in the House of Commons before taking the big chair himself after the 2011 election.

Conservative party members were forced to pick a new leader after the electoral thumping in 2015. At the outset of that leadership race, Scheer struggled to stand out in the crowded field of 17 candidates who were vying to replace Stephen Harper.

Speaker of the House of Commons Andrew Scheer jokingly tries to fight with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and NDP leader Jack Layton as they escort him to the Speakers chair in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on June 2, 2011. Andrew Scheer is no stranger to making political history. When he first sought federal political office in 2004, he beat out the NDP candidate who at the time was the longest serving MP in the House of Commons. Seven years later, his Conservative party won its first majority government and Scheer, then only 32, would soon be elected Speaker of the House of Commons, the youngest person ever to hold the storied post. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

With media attention focused on higher-profile candidates like Kellie Leitch, Kevin O’Leary and Maxime Bernier, Scheer quietly assembled a significant amount of “second choice” support among members.

He courted socially conservative voters — a not insignificant portion of the Conservative leadership voting base — but also more moderate elements of the party who feared Bernier’s strident libertarianism would be a turn-off for the general voting public. He narrowly beat Bernier by less than 2 points on the 13th and final ballot.

Scheer acknowledged early that his policy proposals were not all that different from those of his predecessor. He willingly embraced the “Stephen Harper with a smile” label, saying he would govern like Harper but with less of a stern image.

When he assumed the helm of his party, the Liberals were still flying high in the polls.

Andrew Scheer, right, is congratulated by Maxime Bernier after being elected the new leader of the federal Conservative party at the federal Conservative leadership convention in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)

But Scheer scored some wins as an opposition leader, like a come-from-behind victory in a Quebec byelection. He capitalized on Liberal scandals — like Trudeau’s much-maligned trip to India — and some ethical lapses, like Trudeau’s trip to a private island in the Bahamas.

And with the SNC-Lavalin affair, Scheer sought to paint Trudeau as a man unfit to govern after inappropriately pressuring his justice minister. His efforts paid off in the early months of 2019 as Liberal popular support numbers dipped significantly.

Scheer launched the campaign with a promise to make life more affordable for Canadians (“It’s time for you to get ahead” was the chosen slogan) by promising to revive Harper-era policies that were dismantled by the Liberals.

Scheer committed to a children’s fitness and arts tax credit, a public transit tax credit, a new green home retrofit tax credit and a “universal tax cut” to slash income taxes for middle-income Canadians.



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Real Estate SEO Essentials You NEED to Know

Explore Edmonton Real Estate

Welcome to the number one source for Edmonton homes for sale. Ryan Dutka is proud to offer you this one-stop resource for all of your home buying and home selling needs in Edmonton, Alberta. This website provides you with all the latest tools, information, and technology to make your journey the most successful and satisfying undertaking in your real estate adventure. We have carefully developed, and continue to develop, this website to give you the tools and the knowledge to make the most informed decisions with the most up-to-date and relevant facts and figures in the Edmonton real estate market.

Ryan Dutka Real Estate Solutions is a dynamic and forward-thinking group of agents that work hard to help exceed your Edmonton homeownership goals. We believe in maintaining a new standard of client satisfaction and will work tirelessly to ensure you walk away enormously satisfied with your home transaction. Combining decades of estate experience, we have intimate and inside knowledge of not only today’s real estate market but the trends that will affect Edmonton’s future development. Our agents work tirelessly to ensure they are informed of all the latest developments, and they pride themselves on their expertise in all aspects of Edmonton homes for sale.

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Edmonton Real Estate

The 6 Biggest Marketing Trends for 2019

Which marketing strategies in 2019 should you place your bets on? In this video, Eric Siu shares his marketing predictions for digital marketing trends 2019 – all the top marketing strategies for the new year including conversational marketing, audio marketing and more! If you’re studying how to do digital marketing and looking for the latest new marketing trends, this video will show you the top 6 to focus on in 2019. What’s big in 2019? There’s a 2019 for everything – Live video 2019, video marketing 2019 – the list goes on. But in our top 6, we’re not surprised to find chatbot marketing or video ads at the top of the list. Audio is still important, especially with Amazon Polly being adopted more mainstream. Get your new year marketing campaign planned right by incorporating these strategies. Stay tuned for more marketing and business advice. —— ►Subscribe to my Channel: http://youtube.com/subscription_cente… ►Eric’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ericosiu/ ►Growth Everywhere Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/growth_ever… ———— Want to learn the SEO tactics that AirBnB, Lyft, and Heineken use to drive millions of site visits a month? Download the case study now: https://www.singlegrain.com/res/digit… Leave some feedback: • What should I talk about next? Please let me know on Twitter – https://twitter.com/ericosiu or in the comments below. • Enjoyed this episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments, and please be sure to subscribe. Connect with Eric Siu: • Growth Everywhere Podcast – http://www.growtheverywhere.com/ • Marketing School Podcast – https://www.singlegrain.com/marketing… • Single Grain – Digital Marketing Agency – http://www.singlegrain.com/ • Twitter https://twitter.com/ericosiu Support Neil’s Channel: • https://www.youtube.com/user/neilvkpatel

Edmonton SEO

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Picture this: thousands of Edmonton historical photos online

Picture this: thousands of Edmonton historical photos online


Tim O’Grady is a time traveler. 

The City of Edmonton archivist spends his days poring through pics of our past.

“I love the photos,” O’Grady says. “What I really like about the photo is it’s really accessible and immediate.”

City of Edmonton archivist Tim O’Grady loves looking through the city’s past. (Adrienne Lamb/CBC)

Last October the City of Edmonton Archives launched a new website and began transferring selected black and while images from its massive collection onto the new system.

So far, O’Grady and the team have managed to upload more than half of their target of 50,000 photos.

The new database is called AtoM, an acronymn for Access to Memory, which is the standard in archives in Canada, according to O’Grady.

“You can search for a photo, through Google even. You find the photo, but then you can also find all the contextual information about that photo.

“So you would find a photo of a brewery for example and then you’d see this photograph is actually part of a much larger collection.”

Files filled with photos are housed at the City of Edmonton Archives at 10440 108th Ave. (Adrienne Lamb/CBC)

It’s that kind of context that delights head archivist Kathryn Ivany.

“Before when we had photos up, you would just see the photograph but now you can see the story of the person who created the photograph, perhaps all the other photographs they took of their family, of their business,” Ivany said.

Being able to link images together in this way makes for a richer experience, whether you’re a student researching a local history project or a genealogical buff looking for faces from your family tree.

But the city archives doesn’t only work with faded, black-and-white images.  

It continues to accept digital photos from Edmontonians to add to its ever growing collection.

However, Ivany admits they’re pretty picky about what they take. They have to be in this digital age.

“The collections are getting larger as digital photos take over people’s lives so we are going to actually be much more selective of the ones we put up on our website because we’d soon be overrun with images,” she said.

You can see more from the City of Edmonton Archives in this week’s edition of Our Edmonton on Saturday at 10 a.m., Sunday at noon and 11 a.m. on Monday on CBC TV.

The archives one of the organizations housed at the historic Prince of Wales Armouries Heritage Centre. (Adrienne Lamb/CBC)



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'A full circle since the crash': Families reflect on anniversary of Humboldt Broncos tragedy

‘A full circle since the crash’: Families reflect on anniversary of Humboldt Broncos tragedy


It’s a year in which families say they have lived through difficult firsts.

The first birthday since the crash. A first Thanksgiving. A first Christmas.

Today marks the first anniversary of the April 6, 2018 Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

Family members of the 29 people involved in the crash and nearly 3,000 members of the public are expected to gather at the Elgar Petersen arena, the heart of hockey in Humboldt, Sask., to mourn together.

“It’s hard for me to believe a year is gone but I also say to so many people, it feels like I’ve lived a lifetime because this past year as we grieve, we are grieving publicly,” said Laurie Thomas, mother of Evan Thomas, one of the  hockey players killed in the collision.

Indeed, it’s a grief that has unfolded at the forefront of public consciousness. Stories about the crash, the recovery of survivors and most recently, the emotionally-charged sentencing for truck driver Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, have dominated national news coverage.

Those daily reminders of the crash have been painful for Marilyn Hay, mother of Tyler Bieber, who said she needs today’s memorial for her healing.

“I miss my son immensely. I can feel him with me. We’ve just got to move on, I’m thinking, after Saturday,” she said.

“To me, it’s coming to the end. It’s a full circle since the crash.”

Marilyn Hay shows a tattoo of her son Tyler Bieber on her left arm. (Bonnie Allen/CBC)

For the family of Logan Boulet, Humboldt is calling them to come from their home in Lethbridge, Alta., to take part in the ceremony.

Logan is our son and we will always be here for him.– Toby Boulet , father of crash victim 

Toby Boulet told CBC News that he and his wife and daughter are drawn to come to any gathering that remembers the 29 people aboard the bus. His son and 15 others passed on, while 13 survived with life-changing physical and mental scars they will live with forever, he said.   

“When the community of Humboldt gathers to remember, then certainly a Boulet will be there,” Toby Boulet wrote in a message to CBC News.

“We cannot expect Humboldt to remember for us. Logan is our son and we will always be here for him.”

Bernadine and Toby Boulet, parents of the late Humboldt Broncos hockey player Logan Boulet, pose at their home in Lethbridge, Alta., on Dec. 6, 2018. (David Rossiter/The Canadian Press)

The game plays on

Thomas has spent the past year sharing photos and stories about her son on Facebook and Twitter, crafting a living reminder that survives beyond his death.

“Photos are such a good memory, but it’s also because I miss him at times, and I’m grieving because my heart is broken, because I physically miss his laughter, I miss his smile, I miss his hug,” she said.

Laurie Thomas (right) said she has to live and fight on, because that’s what her son, Evan Thomas, would want her to do. (Submitted by Laurie Thomas)

Like Hay, Thomas said she hopes the anniversary represents a turning point, where the focus shifts from the tragedy to allowing her to move forward.

“Evan would want that,” she said. “Sometimes it’s hard because you don’t want to move forward, you don’t want to get out of bed.”

But life goes on after Humboldt. Thomas said she has a daughter to look after and her son’s legacy to uphold.

And there’s more left in the game to play.

“I can hear Evan go, ‘You’ve got to get up and conquer the world today mom — because that’s what you taught me.'”



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Petal peddlers from across the world bring exotic beauties to St. Albert orchid show

Petal peddlers from across the world bring exotic beauties to St. Albert orchid show


Among the hundreds of orchids on display in St. Albert at the 42nd Annual Orchid Fair this weekend, it takes a special kind of flower to stand out.

“Something may have tiny little flowers in the same category as something with great big flowers,” orchid judge Sandy Bedford told CBC’s Radio Active on Friday, as she sized up the competition.

“But they both have different potential so it’s a matter of who is living up to their potential.”

This is the largest American Orchid Society judged show in Canada.

Judges train for seven years to meet the international standards for evaluating these flowers. 

For many orchids sellers, they’ve learned the trade over generations. 

Ivan Portilla came to Edmonton from Ecuador for the event. His family owns Ecuagenera, a family-run orchid company that was founded in the 1950s.

Ecuador is home to 4,500 native orchid species, giving his orchids an advantage when it comes attracting buyers.

“People find it interesting growing the Dracula, or monkey-face, orchid,” he said.

Dracula — or, if you want to get fancy, one of the Pleurothallidinae subtribe of orchids — grow in South and Central American forests. The species, known for its flower centre that eerily resembles the image of a monkey’s face, is just one variety of rare orchids that Portilla’s company sells at fairs around the world.

The Dracula Transilvania orchid which grows in Ecuador is known for its monkey face appearance. (Ecuagenera website)

The company travels to 72 different orchid shows every year, he said.

“I do about 24, in the U.S., Canada and Guatemala, some in Europe,” he said. The work is spread out among brothers, nephews and other members of his family. 

This weekend, for example, Portilla and his family are attending five orchid shows: in addition to the one in Alberta, there are shows in Houston, Pennsylvania, Nashville and the last sibling is in Europe.

Shui-En Kao has been selling orchids since the 1970s and he said travel is part of life on the orchid circuit.

He ships the delicate flowers from Taiwan to Vancouver each year, then sends them on flights from fair to fair in Canada for his operation, Ching Hua.

“One year we came to Canada five or six times for orchid shows,” he said.

“Me and my son are always travelling. Last week Montreal and right now here in Edmonton.”

The orchid show runs through Sunday at the Enjoy Centre.



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Driver hurt after attempting U-turn on highway west of Edmonton

Driver hurt after attempting U-turn on highway west of Edmonton


A woman was seriously injured after her van was hit while making a U-turn on a highway west of Edmonton Friday.

The van was travelling east on Highway 627 when it attempted a U-turn at  Range Road 275 at 7:42 a.m., RCMP said in a news release.

  

The van was hit by a westbound SUV.

The 37-year-old woman driving the van was taken to hospital with serious injuries by air ambulance, RCMP said. 

The 45-year-old driver of the SUV suffered minor injuries.

Traffic was diverted onto Highway 779 and Campsite Road for most of Friday morning while police investigated.



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Election fact-checker: Leaders debate edition

Election fact-checker: Leaders debate edition


Albertans tuned in to watch Rachel Notley, Jason Kenney, David Khan and Stephen Mandel debate the issues Thursday evening. 

CBC News examined claims made by the party leaders during the debate and all four had misleading claims. 

Comments made by politicians and the parties online are ranked as true, false or muddy in CBC News fact-checker articles.

  • Find out how Alberta’s political parties are faring in our Poll Tracker
  • VOTE COMPASS | Find out how your views on campaign issues line up with the platforms of Alberta’s major parties

The muddy moments

David Khan, Liberal Party

“The UCP and the Alberta Party have talked about privatizing health care.”

Alberta Party leader Stephen Mandel: “No, we haven’t!”

Khan: “Yes, Mr. Clark was on QR 77 last week suggesting that your party would look at privatizing some parts of the health care system.”

Mandel: “No, we didn’t. I don’t know where you heard that from?!”

Ranking:Muddy

Here’s why: The health-care portion of the Alberta Party platformdoesn’t mention privatization, or private delivery of services. In fact, the party wants to increase health benefits by adding an annual dental care check up for children ages 12 and under.

Here’s the actual exchange between a radio talk-show host and former Alberta Party MLA Greg Clark, during a March 21 interview:

Host: “We already have lots of private care, ways to pay privately to get services done in the health world. Your view on, can we go a little farther that way? Do we have to pull back? How do we use the private health care to help the public system?”

Clark: “You know, I do think we need to start thinking about some of that. I won’t say a definitive no. I will say the Alberta Party is totally committed to a public health-care system. We need to make sure we maintain equal access and have a focus on quality and access, but we also need to start looking at creative ways of reducing costs.”


Stephen Mandel, Alberta Party 

“The reality is we don’t have enough pipelines to send our oil south. We don’t have any pipelines to send it west or east. Part of that [was the] responsibility of Mr. Kenney and his government. When he was there, they could have pushed Northern Gateway through, but he didn’t do that.”

Ranking: Muddy

Here’s why: Stephen Harper’s federal Conservative government, which included Kenney, signed off on the Northern Gateway pipeline. But Ottawa’s approval was overturned by the Federal Court of Appeal in 2016, and the Liberal government did not appeal the court decision.


Jason Kenney, UCP

On wait times and Alberta’s healthcare: “And that’s with a government that is spending more, with the most expensive system in Canada.”

Ranking: Muddy

Here’s why: Statistics from 2018 show that Alberta does spend more per person than any other province. However, the territories certainly have the most expensive health-care systems in Canada. For example, health-care costs per person in the Northwest Territories were more than double that of per-person costs in Alberta in 2018, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information.


Rachel Notley, NDP 

“Here’s the thing: pipelines, pipelines, pipelines. I’ve just now said the word two more times than Mr. Kenney did when he was a cabinet minister.”

Ranking: Muddy

Here’s why: It is impossible to check every speaking engagement and media scrum over Kenney’s nearly 20-year federal career. Technically, Kenney said the word “pipeline” three times in the House of Commons, although he was an opposition MP and not a cabinet minister at the time. Kenney also mentioned the Northern Gateway pipeline by name in the House of Commons. While he was federal employment minister in 2014, he said “pipeline” several times when speaking to CBC about the impact of falling oil prices.

Here are the two Hansard records of when he mentioned the word “pipeline” for a total of three times in Ottawa (with transcripts):

UCP Leader Jason Kenney, NDP Leader Rachel Notley, Liberal Leader David Khan and Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel participated in the Alberta Leaders Debate in Edmonton Thursday. (CBC)

The facts

Jason Kenney, UCP

“We need to focus on things like the huge decline in math scores for Alberta students.”

Ranking: True

Here’s why: In 2018, one-third of Alberta Grade 9 students failed the provincial exams for math. An international test taken by Alberta Grade 4 students in 2015 showed math scores had been slipping over 10 years.


Rachel Notley, NDP

“Mr. Kenney’s caucus voted against Bill 24 [An Act to Support Gay-Straight Alliances] when we brought it in.”

Ranking: True

Here’s why: The NDP’s Bill 24 prevented teachers from outing students who join a gay-straight alliance (GSA) at school. When the bill passed in November 2017, the 23 MLAs who voted against it were from the UCP caucus. One UCP MLA, former Wildrose leader Brian Jean, was absent from the vote. Another, Leela Aheer, abstained.


David Khan, Liberal Party

“There has been money for class-size reductions for years, and we do not know where it has gone.”

Ranking: True

Here’s why: An auditor general’s report, delivered in 2018, showed that Alberta Education has spent billions of dollars over 13 years to try and reduce class sizes, without actually reducing class sizes. The auditor general also found that the government wasn’t tracking how that money was spent within school districts.  


Stephen Mandel, Alberta Party

“We have to be concerned about bigotry and intolerance. That’s something nobody can tolerate anywhere. And that seems to be something that is following Mr. Kenney’s party on an ongoing basis.”

Ranking: True

Here’s why: Over the past several weeks, there have been high-profile controversies involving UCP candidates making sexist, homophobic, or racist remarks. Two of those candidates, Caylan Ford and Eva Kiryakos, have since resigned. Mark Smith, the candidate for Drayton Valley-Devon, has apologized for remarks he made about homosexual relationships.

As part of an ongoing effort to hold Alberta’s political leaders and political parties accountable, CBC News will fact-check comments made by politicians and photos posted online at various times along the campaign trail.  

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Sharks hand Oilers 5th straight loss

Sharks hand Oilers 5th straight loss


Brent Burns had a goal and an assist as the San Jose Sharks got a bit of relief from a late season funk with a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday.

Marcus Sorensen and Gustav Nyquist also scored for the Sharks (45-27-9), who came into the game with losses in nine of their last 10 as they prepare for a first-round playoff matchup against the Vegas Golden Knights.

Leon Draisaitl had both goals for the Oilers (34-38-9), who have lost five straight and will miss the playoffs for the 12th time in the last 13 seasons.

Draisaitl started the scoring two minutes into the opening period when he stripped a puck while shorthanded and went in to send a backhand shot through the legs of Sharks goalie Aaron Dell.

San Jose tied it up seven minutes later when Joe Thornton sent a pass from behind the net to Sorensen, who beat Oilers goalie Anthony Stolarz. With the assist Thornton passed Steve Yzerman (1,063) for eighth-place on the NHL all-time list in that category.

The Sharks took a 2-1 lead just over a minute after that when Burns scored his 15th of the season high to the glove side from the middle of the faceoff circle.

Edmonton tied the game back up early in the second period when Matt Benning made a nice feed across to set up Draisaitl for his 49th goal of the season

Nyquist tipped in a Burns point shot to give San Jose a 3-2 lead with 1:12 left in the second period.

Both teams close out regular-season play on Saturday as the Sharks are home to the Colorado Avalanche and the Oilers head to Calgary to face the Flames.



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Two hearts: Sherwood Parks students fashion love for hospital newborns

Two hearts: Sherwood Parks students fashion love for hospital newborns


Fashion studies students at Lakeland Ridge School have a lot of heart when it comes to helping families with newborns in hospital.

The junior high students have been sewing fabric hearts to give to the Misericordia Community Hospital for its neonatal intensive-care unit.

Once the hospital receives the fabric hearts, two are given to each family with an infant in the NICU, said Caroline McKay, fashion studies teacher at the Sherwood Park school.

The parent or caregiver wears one heart against their skin, and the other heart is wrapped in with the baby. After a few days, the hearts are exchanged.

The mother’s scent on the fabric gives the baby a sense of closeness and comfort when the parent is unable to be in direct contact, McKay said.

The scent of the baby helps stimulate milk in the mother, who is storing a supply for a hospitalized infant.

‘I feel a connection’

“When they’re sewing for themselves, that’s one thing,” McKay said of her students. “When they’re using their talents and their skills to sew for other people, it creates more empathy.

“We all love babies and our heart breaks when we hear stories of babies that have to stay in the hospital and are apart from their families. When we realize that we can do something to even just help a little bit, it’s easy to make that connection and to want to give back.”

Students have embraced the program, which started at the school in September. Some of them have continued to make more fabric hearts at home, McKay said.

“I feel a connection to this project because I have a little cousin who was born premature,” Makenzie Osmond, a Grade 9 student at Lakeland Ridge, said in a news release. “My aunt and cousin each received a bonding heart and I saw how important it was to them.”

McKay said she plans to continue the program with a new batch of students next year.

“The students are really motivated and they want to do a really good job, knowing that it’s going to go to somebody else and help somebody’s family out,” she said.



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