Monthly Archives: December 2012

National Post | Sports

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says the league will take some time to look at a counter-proposal from the NHL Players’ Association.

The offer came during roughly three hours of meetings on Monday afternoon. Bettman indicated that league officials would spend the evening examining the counter-proposal.

“We have to review the response,” said Bettman. “There was an opportunity for the players’ association to highlight the areas that they thought we should focus on based on their response. And that’s something we’ve now got to look at very closely in addition to the myriad of other issues.”

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The next meeting time has not been finalized but Bettman hopes the two sides can resume talks by midday Tuesday. The union’s offer was said to be a full one and came a few days after the league made some movement in 288-page proposal delivered Thursday night.

“We covered the range of subjects…

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National Post | News

PENDLETON, Ore. — A 17-year-old boy from Vancouver says he thought he was going to die when the tour bus he was travelling on crashed in northeastern Oregon, killing nine people and injuring dozens of others.

Speaking through a translator, the boy and his 16-year-old friend who moved to Vancouver from South Korea two years ago recounted details of the crash to The East Oregonian and The Oregonian newspapers.

The boys, who declined to give their names, said they were seated near the rear of the bus Sunday morning when it swerved a few times, hit a highway guardrail and flipped.

They also described breaking glass and seeing passengers pinned by their seats as the bus slid down a hill. Both said that they feared for their lives.

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Police said the tour bus was owned by a Vancouver company called Mi Joo Tour & Travel and had been…

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National Post | News

When a new highway started to flood the plot of land near his home and storage business on the outskirts of Calgary, 43-year-old Norm Price had one idea: He’d build a skating rink. Outfitted with nighttime lights, a heated trailer, hot chocolate and hotdogs, the rink is ready for action. Now Mr. Price has one question: Why are so few people coming out to play? The Post’s Jen Gerson spoke to Mr. Price. The following transcript has been edited for length and clarity.

Can you describe your ice rink for me? What does it look like and how big is it?

It’s about the same size as an indoor rink, but what I’ve done is I’ve built an oval for people just wanting to skate.

Why did you decide to build it?

They built a big highway here. It’s called Stoney Trail. And ever since they built that we’ve…

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Financial Post | Business

Tyree Johnson scrubs himself with a bar of soap in a McDonald’s bathroom and puts on fresh deodorant. He stashes his toiletries in a Kenneth Cole bag, a gift from his mother who works the counter at Macy’s, and hops on an El train. His destination: another McDonald’s.

Johnson isn’t one of Chicago’s many homeless people who seek shelter in fast-food joints. He’s a McDonald’s employee, at both stores — one in the Loop, the other about a mile away in the shadow of Holy Name Cathedral.

I hate when my boss tells me she won’t give me a raise because she can smell me

He needs the makeshift baths because hygiene and appearance are part of his annual compensation reviews. Even with frequent scrubbings, he said before a recent shift, it’s hard to remove the essence of the greasy food he works around.

“I hate when my boss tells…

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Financial Post | Business

Beginning of the year is a great time to revisit your investment portfolio

After the holidays, it can be a busy time for financial planners. It’s as if the Ghost of Christmas Future descended and inspired not only goodwill but money-mindedness. Perhaps time with the family has people thinking of how to care for them in the future. Or perhaps the break from work has people fantasizing about a blissful retirement. “Sometimes we’re caught up in the rat race of everyday life and you don’t think about the long-term future,” says Myron Knodel, director of tax and estate planning at Investors Group. “But then when you have time, you think: What is my life going to be like 10, 15, 20 years from now? Am I doing what is needed now in order to have the lifestyle I would like in my retirement years?” So resolve to get in financial…

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National Post | Arts

Sorry, Chevy, but you’re no Betty. Hate to break it to you, Matt, but you’re hardly Shat. When it comes to celebrity cameos in commercials, they can be launch pads — or a final destination.

It’s a truth universally acknowledged in marketing that any attention, even the notorious, blowback kind, is good attention. And it’s further accepted that, in today’s crowded and noisy mediascape, the celebrity endorsement is the surest shortcut to grabbing attention for a product or service that might be considered stale, lacking or simply without existing brand recognition.

A close cousin to the straight endorsement — which it has to be said always smacks a little of disingenuousness (think: Kirstie Alley’s Jenny Craig spots, or Ryan Lochte selling anything except mouth grills or Speedos) — is the celeb cameo. Probably made most famous in recent years by Golden Girl Betty White during her campaign for Snickers at…

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National Post | Full Comment

Whether putting armed guards into elementary schools is a stupid idea (as the National Post’s editorial board believes) or not, the leaders of the National Rifle Association didn’t come up with it. That distinction belongs to leaders of reflex-liberalism in the administration of William Jefferson Clinton.

As reported on April 16, 2000, by the Associated Press, the U.S. president, as Clinton then was, spoke to his nation on the first anniversary of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre. The president used the opportunity to unveil “the $60-million fifth round of funding for ‘COPS in School,’ a Justice Department program that helps pay the costs of placing police officers in schools to help make them safer for students and teachers,” the wire service story reported. “The money will be used to provide 452 officers in schools in more than 220 communities.”

The news agency went on to quote the president…

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National Post | Sports

I wrote about 200 columns this year, and here are a few of my favourites, culled from the herd. Am I blatantly copying the format used by Yahoo!’s superlative columnist Dan Wetzel? Maybe. But I’m deeply grateful to have this job, and to get to type for a living. As always, thanks for reading.

Kobe Bryant only comes to Toronto once a year, and the sound the crowd makes when he gets going — when he makes a few more of those shots, those fearless and incredible shots — is just different from the sound the crowd makes for anybody else. There’s an awe there, a gasp, and you hear it wherever he goes. Kobe Bryant will never be Michael Jordan, but he has crafted an astounding career, made all the more incredible by its longevity. He only comes to Toronto once a year, but it’s always worth it.

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National Post | News

Only hours after 15-year-old Amanda Todd was found dead in her Port Coquitlam home, B.C. Premier Christy Clark posted a video message declaring that “no one deserves to be bullied.”

Two days later, before mourners could even gather for Ms. Todd’s memorial service, NDP MP Dany Morin stood in the House of Commons to push for a national anti-bullying strategy. Port Coquitlam soon passed an anti-bullying bylaw, and “Amanda Todd” became one of Google’s most-searched names for 2012, bested only by Whitney Houston and Kate Middleton.

Largely forgotten amid the tributes, vigils and anti-bullying campaigns surrounding 2012’s most high-profile suicide, however, was a more complex story of anxiety, depression and substance abuse.

“Any suicide is pretty complicated,” said Dr. John LeBlanc, a professor of psychiatry at Dalhousie University who has conducted research on the link between suicide and cyberbullying.“The last event of a person’s life may be a relatively minor…

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National Post | News

TORONTO — Ontario’s Liberal government moved Monday to counter a Progressive Conservative proposal to allow corner stores to sell alcohol by announcing a pilot project to sell liquor and wine in 10 grocery stores.

“The goal here is better consumer access,” Finance Minister Dwight Duncan said in an interview.

“Ontarians are, generally speaking, very pleased with the system of (liquor) distribution, they just want more access, and we think this is the right way to go.”

Some Ontario shoppers will have a new option for buying alcohol starting late in 2013 when the Liquor Control Board sets up Express stores inside 10 supermarkets in communities yet to be determined. Consumers would still take their alcohol purchases to an LCBO cashier, not to the grocery check-out with their food items.

“This is getting the product into the stores and making it much more consumer accessible, and I think this is the…

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