Friends Claudette Floyd and Helmer debut collections at World MasterCard Fashion Week

Montreal designers Joseph Helmer and Claudette Floyd debuted their collections at Toronto this season. The two designers are Montreal mainstays who have shown their work around the world. For their Toronto debut, they chose to share a time slot, sending both collections down the runway.

Helmer, as he prefers to be called, is a tailor by trade and worked in Paris after completing his training at LaSalle College. His work is available around the world, including the aforementioned Paris as well as Italy and Japan.

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Helmer’s collection opened up with a sporty black and white outfit. The satin culottes were black with a white stripe, matched with a top in the same colourway. After that, he sent colour down the runway – a teal highwaisted pant with matching top followed by an orange wool jacket paired with satin cropped skinny pants. After the colour teaser, Helmer went back to neutrals, sending a combination of black and grey collarless, fitted jackets; floaty grey metallic skirts (short and long), a big, black tulle skirt, a pair of fringed booty shorts and a camouflage jacket decorated with jet beads.

The collection played the severe – the grey and black wools – against dense embroidery and beading.

Claudette Floyd, who showed after Helmer, opened her show with a wool metallic dress in a very flattering shade of brown (more reddish than beige) followed by a banana yellow dress. For those who shy away from yellow, there were black dresses, both little and long.

Her collection also featured beading, as seen on a long white wool coat, cropped jackets and dresses. She also played with volume, explaining, “It’s always good to offer a little bit of everything. A little volume for fun, a little tapered for your clients.”

When asked about the similarity in the collections, Floyd says, “We’ve been friends for years and we work well together. He’s amazing!” She points to Helmer, then says, “And I’m amazing too!”

UPDATE: Emu on the run finally captured on university campus

WATCH (above): An emu weighing 70 kilograms was on the loose in Nanaimo. Kylie Stanton reports.

UPDATE: Lucy, the emu, was captured at the Vancouver Island University campus on Friday afternoon. Owner Tim Genner said Lucy seemed a bit spooked when he tried to load her in his van, but he is thrilled the animal is safe.

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Previous story: ‘Lucy’ the emu appears to be having quite the adventure running around Nanaimo, but ‘her’ owner would like to catch ‘her’ and bring her home.

Lucy, a 16-year-old 70-kilogram emu who is actually a male, ‘flew’ the coop on Monday after owner Tim Genner accidentally left a gate open on his property. (Lucy was named when Genner first got the bird, but after finding out he was a she, the name just stuck).

Genner tells Global News that there has been a number of sightings of Lucy since he went missing, with the last one being Wednesday night, but he is not an easy bird to catch.

“It’s very difficult tracking an animal that can run that quickly,” says Genner. Lucy, although he cannot fly, can run 50 to 70 kilometres an hour.

Genner says on Wednesday night there was a sighting of Lucy in the Jingle Pot area of Nanaimo, and he thinks it’s because it’s a wooded area. “At night [he] tends to bed down,” says Genner.

He adds that he is not worried about Lucy getting enough food, as emus eat pretty much anything, but he is concerned about dogs and cars.

The saga of Lucy’s escape has prompted numerous social media sightings and the creation of two 桑拿会所 accounts so far – @Lucyontheloose and @Lucytheemu.

Genner says if anyone sees Lucy, the best thing to do would be to call the Nanaimo RCMP at (250) 754-2345.

Anyone can also call Genner at 250-591-6131.

“I’ve got a truck on hand and ready,” says Genner, “but the trouble is if someone calls me, I’m there in five, 10 minutes and [he’s] already half a mile down the road.”

~ with files from CP

©2014Shaw Media

Coquitlam RCMP warn of a close bear encounter – BC

WATCH (above): Black bears have begun to emerge from their winter dens. Linda Aylesworth has more on how to protect yourself – and your property.

Coquitlam RCMP are warning the public to be bear aware after the most recent encounter on Wednesday.

A bear roamed around a house on Hickey Drive and ate from a bird feeder.

The residents called the police, but the bear left the area on its own before the RCMP and conservation officers showed up.

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“The bears are waking up because the weather is getting warmer, so we do expect more of this type of calls,” says Cpl. Jamie Chung with Coquitlam RCMP.

He says the RCMP usually get involved if a bear is creating a public safety issue.

“If the bear is not creating a public safety issue, and is not being a risk to anyone in the area, then it is going to be a conservation led situation,” says Chung.

He says they don’t have solid stats on how many bear encounters happen yearly in Coquitlam, because sometimes people call conservation directly.

“Usually people would call us first if the bear is really close to a house or close to a school on a school day.”

Meanwhile, police are reminding residents to not leave out bear attractants and clean bird feeders, fruit trees and compost containers.

For more tips on how to deal with a wildlife related public safety issue, go here.

BearAware has more tips on what to do if you encounter a bear here.

North Shore Black Bear Society has information on reducing human-bear encounters through education, cooperation, and community support.

Pink Tartan pays homage to Canadian style – Toronto

TORONTO – The head designer of Pink Tartan paid homage to the past and reflected upon the future, unveiling a Canadian-inspired collection with a modern ’60s twist while also looking ahead to bringing her fashions to TV.

Kimberley Newport-Mimran has previously looked to iconic ’60s-era model Jean Shrimpton as a muse for her line. This time around, another notable cover girl from the decade who was featured in a well-known magazine spread provided the visuals the designer needed to help propel her vision for the collection forward.

The fall-winter line was inspired by the famed 1966 Vogue editorial “The Great Fur Caravan” photographed by legendary lensman Richard Avedon. It featured German model Veruschka braving the elements in fashionable furs and elaborate headwraps.

“She could actually be transformed and that could be a modern-day shoot because there’s nothing that kind of made it feel dated,” Newport-Mimran said in a backstage interview at Toronto’s World MasterCard Fashion on Wednesday prior to her show.

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“I loved Veruschka. I loved her wind-licked hair. I loved the strength in her face, I loved the way her clothes draped…. She fighting the cold in style, and I felt that that was exactly what I’m saying in this collection.”

Newport-Mimran said she focused on staying warm through use of layering with the ensembles teamed with oversized accessories like chunky scarves and textured, furry mittens. The range encompassed a mix of knitwear, leather and fur – both real and faux – with shaggy toppers, striking plaid-on-plaid pattern pairings and houndstooth print adding a stylistically graphic dynamic to the collection.

No look on the runway captured the feeling of cocooning from the cold better than a model enveloped within a garment reminscent of a giant duvet adorned with fur trim.

“There’s a lot of textural fabric in this collection, and there’s a heavy wool sweater that reminds you of being in the cabin up north with the Icelandic pattern on it, but really mixed with modern scuba textures and air knits. It’s really a play on fabrics,” said Newport-Mimran.

Peter Pan-collared dresses and flared skirts offered a fun, flirty feminine touch while motorcycle jackets and hardware elements featured on coats lent a tough yet chic look to the line.

Newport-Mimran will soon shift gears from cool-weather styles to spring as she showcases a curated selection of goods from her downtown Toronto boutique on the airwaves.

The designer is slated to make her debut on The Shopping Channel live on March 30 at 8 a.m., 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. (all times Eastern). Ranging in price from $95 to $395, the collection will also be available to shop online at tsc桑拿按摩.

“It was really a way for me to talk to my customer and help my customer have access to Pink Tartan, because she’s really a Canadian girl who wants to have style.”

©2014The Canadian Press

Liberal riding exec condemns Trudeau move to block candidate, seeks review

OTTAWA – Justin Trudeau’s decision to block a candidate who wanted to run for the Liberal party in the coming Trinity- Spadina byelection has been condemned by the riding’s Liberal executive members.

They say the move to block Christine Innes, a two-time failed candidate in the riding and wife of former MP Tony Ianno, was undemocratic and amounted to the leader breaking his promise of open nomination meetings in all ridings.

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“There was absolutely no due or fair process … and there was absolutely zero local involvement,” riding president Julia Metus said in a statement Thursday.

“This is contrary to everything the Liberal party – new or otherwise – is supposed to stand for.”

The executive voted at an urgent meeting late Wednesday to condemn the move and request a meeting with Trudeau to review the decision.

Trudeau’s team last week said complaints of bullying and intimidation tactics by Ianno prompted the decision to bar Innes from running for the byelection nomination in Trinity-Spadina and from seeking a nomination in any riding for the 2015 general election.

Trudeau this week defended the move as necessary to demonstrate that party infighting will no longer be tolerated.

However, Innes has denied the allegations of overly aggressive campaigning. She maintains she’s being punished for refusing to rule out challenging Chrystia Freeland, one of Trudeau’s hand-picked star recruits, in a nomination contest for the 2015 election.

In the statement Thursday, the executive backed Innes’ assessment, accusing the party of making “unproven and malicious
allegations against the candidate and her family to cover up its desire to control the nomination process.”

Trinity-Spadina and the existing riding of Toronto Centre, which Freeland won in a byelection late last year, will be chopped into three new ridings for the general election, due to redistribution.

Freeland intends to run in the northernmost new riding of University-Rosedale and the party had asked Innes to promise that she’d seek the nomination in the southernmost new riding of Spadina-Fort York. She refused.

Her campaign team had been preparing for months for a byelection in Trinity-Spadina, which became vacant last week when New Democrat Olivia Chow quit to run for mayor of Toronto. Her team had simultaneously been trying to recruit support for a pro-Innes slate to take control of the University-Rosedale executive.

Complaints lodged by several young Liberals, and obtained by The Canadian Press, specifically singled out Ianno for suggesting they’d have no future in the party if they supported Freeland and questioning Trudeau’s leadership.

Ianno, who was instrumental in organizing a caucus revolt against former prime minister Jean Chretien, was the Liberal MP for Trinity-Spadina from 1993 until he was defeated by Chow in 2006.

Innes lost to Chow in 2008 and 2011.

Boston Marathon bombing survivor dances with bionic leg at Ted Talks Vancouver – National

TORONTO – Boston Marathon survivor Adrianne Haslet-Davis took a big step on her road to recovery on the TED Talks Vancouver stage Wednesday night – many steps to be exact.

The professional ballroom dancer and instructor took to the stage to perform a short rumba to the tune of Enrique Iglesias’ “Ring My Bells.” It was the first time she had danced publicly since losing her lower left leg in the April 2013 bombing.

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Supporting Haslet-Davis was a custom designed bionic leg built to help her move just as she did before.

The performance was done as part of a TED Talk by Hugh Herr, director of the Biomechatronics Group at the MIT Media Lab, in which he discussed the field of prosthetics and his vision for the future of bionic limbs that would allow full rehabilitation of patients.

Herr teamed up with Haslet-Davis after meeting her at a rehabilitation hospital and hearing her story.

His lab participated in over 200 days of research to understand the dynamics of dance – they studied how dancers move and where force is applied to the limbs as they create different movements.

They then took that research and used it to build Haslet-Davis a bionic leg.

“In 3.5 seconds, the criminals and cowards took Adrianne off the dance floor,” he said during the talk Wednesday. “In 200 days, we put her back.”

Haslet-Davis mid-dance.

James Duncan Davidson/Image courtesy of: TED Talks

According to the TED Talks blog, the Center for Extreme Bionics at the MIT Media lab is where Herr and his team study the science and technology that allows the “repair of humans across a broad range of brain and body issues.”

The team has a large focus on bionic limbs.

Herr, a double amputee who uses prosthetic legs to walk, also discussed how his lab uses precise science to attach the limbs and how they use electricity to make prosthetics that move like flesh and bone.

“I imagine a future so advanced that we could rid the world of disability—in which neuroimplants allowed the blind to see, in which the paralyzed could walk with exoskeletons,” he said.

“We need to do a better job in bionics to allow full rehabilitation.”

The team studies how people walk and run to get a full understanding of what the muscles are doing and how they are being controlled by the brain. This helps them to create limbs that move more naturally.

READ MORE: TED Talks Vancouver brings some of tech’s brightest minds to Canada

“On heel strike, the system modulates stiffness and then lifts the person into walking stride just like the muscles in the calf region,” read the TED blog post detailing Herr’s work.

“These bionics allow wearers to walk up stairs easily, even run up steep inclines.”

According to the blog, Herr’s team is also working on “exoskeleton-like devices” that users could wear in the future to protect their limbs during physical activities like running – including a version made for people who aren’t missing limbs, which would help apply torque and power to the user’s movements.

”We’re beginning the age in which machines attached to our bodies will make us stronger and more efficient,” said Herr.

Haslet-Davis previously appeared on a Dancing With the Stars segment where she accepted an invitation to dance on the show once further along in her recovery. She is said to be making an appearance on the show sometime this season.

©2014Shaw Media

New Samsung tablet offers laptop experience, but comes with a hefty price tag

NEW YORK – Samsung’s new Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 tablet blurs the distinction between a laptop and a tablet computer.

Its on-screen keyboard has capabilities that are more common with laptops, and its screen is larger than what many laptops have. People can run several apps side by side, and multiple users can share the device with separate profiles.

Samsung also tries to make the Note Pro something professionals can use on the road, while leaving the laptop behind. It’s packed with business tools such as a WebEx virtual conferencing app, a one-year subscription to Bloomberg Businessweek’s digital magazine and one year of Wi-Fi access on airplanes through Gogo.

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It’s an impressive lineup of features. Unfortunately, it also has a price tag that exceeds that of many laptops — $750 for the base model with 32 gigabytes of storage, and $850 for 64 gigabytes.

If your primary reason for owning a tablet is to consume content, such as video, music, books and magazines, the Note Pro isn’t for you. There are plenty of cheaper options out there.

The Note Pro is for those who want to mimic a laptop experience, yet don’t want to purchase —or carry— a laptop.

Its screen measures 12.2 inches diagonally, giving it about 50 per cent more surface area than Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad Air. The Note Pro is also larger than another tablet billed as a laptop replacement, Microsoft’s 10.6-inch Surface Pro 2. It’s also cheaper; the Surface Pro 2 costs $899.

With the Note Pro’s larger screen, television shows and other content come to life. Digital magazines are closer in size to printed editions — though one drawback is that some magazines haven’t been designed to be that large, so text looks fuzzy blown up.

WATCH: Samsung tablet preview

The larger screen also means having an on-screen keyboard that comes closer to replicating a physical keyboard. Keys are spaced in a way that I can type with all 10 fingers, the way I learned in high school eons ago. On smaller tablets, I have to inefficiently peck with two fingers.

The Note Pro’s on-screen keyboard also has functions that aren’t typically found on tablets. For instance, you can use the control key the way you can on laptops, such as CTRL-C to copy text and CTRL-V to paste. And instead of having to toggle between keyboards for letters and symbols, you can access commonly used symbols such as the dollar sign and the asterisk by pressing the corresponding letter key for about one second. Arrows on the lower right side of the keyboard let you move the cursor with more precision than tapping on the touch screen.

That said, it’s not the same as a physical keyboard. I still have to look at the keys when I type with 10 fingers, whereas with a regular keyboard, I can navigate by feel while keeping my eyes on the monitor. Samsung does sell a wireless keyboard for $60 and a mouse for $40.

READ MORE: Samsung aims to topple Apple as No. 1 in tablets

While I’m on prices, I’ll add that Verizon has a cellular version of the 32-gigabyte Note Pro for $100 more, or $850. It’s $750 with a two-year service contract. Samsung Electronics Co. also sells a variety of cheaper, Wi-Fi-only versions. Unlike the Note Pro, these Tab Pro models don’t come with a stylus for writing on the screen. A 12.2-inch version goes for $650, while $500 gets you 10.1 inches and $400 gets you 8.4 inches. The 8.4-inch model doesn’t have the laptop-like keyboard I just described.

To further confuse matters, Samsung also has the Galaxy Note 10.1 — 2014 Edition tablet, though it came out in 2013. The $550 tablet does have the stylus, but lacks the new keyboard.

When I wrote about the Note 10.1 in October, I marveled at how tablets were getting some of the functionality typically associated with PCs. In particular, I liked the various multitasking features, though one called Multi-Window limited you to two apps side by side.

The Note Pro lets you run up to four apps that way. That means having Gmail on the upper left portion of the screen, while YouTube video plays on the upper right, a Web browser opens on the lower right and a chat app runs on the lower left. You can change how much space each app takes and save configurations so that you don’t have to open the four apps individually each time.

If you want to run more than four, you can activate Pen Window. Apps open in a window that floats over the main app on the screen. You can have several apps open at once, and you can temporarily set an app aside by minimizing it into a small dot.

However, the multitasking capabilities work only with selected apps. That includes more than two dozen of the common ones, but not Netflix or Hulu. I wish I could have streaming video going while I do other stuff on the side.

On Windows 8 tablets, you can run up to four apps side by side, depending on the size of the screen, and there are no restrictions on which ones. You also get access to a wider range of software designed for traditional computers, including Microsoft’s Office. The Note Pro is fundamentally an Android tablet with some interface changes and apps to give it a laptop feel.

READ MORE: Parents more likely to buy tablets: study

What’s nice about the Note Pro is its compatibility with Android phones and Google services. You’ll have to weigh whether that’s more important than running Windows software and whether all that is worth the $750 price. And keep in mind that compared with Apple’s iOS system, Android still doesn’t have as many apps specifically designed for the tablet’s screen size. Many tablet apps are simply larger versions of phone apps. The iPad is also cheaper, starting at $499, though the base model comes with half the storage available in the Note Pro’s $750 model.

If you’ve settled on an Android tablet, the Note Pro is a decent device, albeit a pricey one. Although it isn’t quite ready to replace your laptop, it gets you closer to that experience than any other Android tablet I’ve tried.

©2014The Canadian Press

Public Safety Minister mulls taking gun decisions away from RCMP – National

Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney wants to change the rules around gun control, potentially taking decision-making power away from the RCMP in the wake of gun-owners’ wrath over a new rifle ban.

“The Minister has ordered an urgent review of this unfortunate decision,” spokesperson Jean-Christophe de le Rue said in an e-mail. “The Minister has announced that he will bring forward measures in the coming weeks to protect all law-abiding firearms owners from these types of retroactive and unpredictable decisions.”

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On February 28, the RCMP changed the Firearms Reference Table gun database to prohibit all semi-automatic rifles made by Swiss Arms and all semi-automatic CZ858 rifles made since 2007.

According to notes in the database, the Swiss Arms rifles were banned for being a variant of the already-banned SG550 rifle and the CZ858s were banned because they “can be converted into a full automatic firearm in a relatively short period of time with relative ease.”

An amnesty allows the owners of the semi-automatic rifles to own them for another two years, during which period they can only be transported to be sold to a museum or someone with a rare prohibited-firearm licence, or to be turned in to police for destruction.

(The public announcement of the amnesty has few details. The Privy Council Office has not responded to Global’s request for the actual text of the order, which was given to us by a source.)

Blaney plans a “permanent solution in the near future,” de le Rue said in his email.

What could that look like?

The most radical solution, often raised in the past on the gun-rights side of the debate, would involve taking the power to ban firearms away from the RCMP.

Parliament could also create the authority to unban a gun, something the Minister can’t yet do.The most radical solution, often raised in the past on the gun-rights side of the debate, would involve taking the power to ban firearms away from the RCMP.

Or regulatory changes could simply change definitions enough to give RCMP less leeway in deciding to ban a gun.

How will the RCMP enforce new long-gun ban with no long-gun registry?

Blaney appeared to have been caught off-guard by the most recent controversy.

“Vigilant individuals with access to the FRT database have been continuously checking those guns, knowing that they were in the RCMP’s crosshairs,” says Ottawa firearms lawyer Solomon Friedman. “Maybe they thought that they’d update the FRT and issue a press release some time later, but gun owners were watching for this.”

This wouldn’t be the first time the RCMP has differed with the Public Safety Minister over gun regulation, with police advocating stricter rules the minister appears unwilling to put in place.

Last September, senior RCMP officials invited Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney to a briefing on gun control at a police range in Ottawa, at which they seemed to be nudging him toward stricter rules in some cases.

READ MORE: December, 2013: Briefing note to Public Safety Minister hints at tighter gun control

Meanwhile, the National Firearms Association is prospering.

“We’ve gained thousands of members and we’ve gained thousands of dollars in donations because we’ve been seen to be leading the fight against this reclassification,” says communications director Blair Hagen*.

The NFA claims 70,000 members, of which Hagen says 10,000 have joined in recent weeks because of the controversy.

“Whenever there’s a perceived threat against firearms owners in Canada, we see our fundraising and membership grow.”

According to a redacted copy of the national firearms database made before long-gun data was deleted, obtained by Global News under access-to-information laws, this ban appears to affect about 8,000 rifles – just over 60 per cent of them in B.C. and Alberta.

Compensating all affected owners would cost about $8.8 million.

But that data reflects the long-gun registry data as it was in mid-2012.

* An earlier version of this story attributed the quote to Sheldon Clare, the NFA’s president.

READ: Text of the amnesty

View this document on Scribd

Firearms Reference Table entries

The legal explanation of the ban is under “Canadian Law Comments”:

View this document on Scribd
View this document on Scribd

New poll sees support for Liberals surging in run up to debate – Montreal

MONTREAL – The latest Quebec election poll shows growing support for the Liberal Party in the run up to the first televised leader’s debate.

Conducted for the Toronto Star on March 19, the Forum Research survey revealed that the Liberal Party has gained six percentage points since a Leger Marketing poll conducted on March 11 and 12 in Quebec City. 

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  • Philippe Couillard tours Quebec City, prepares for debate

READ MORE: Quebec City Leger poll shows Liberal Party gains

Support for the Parti Quebecois remained stable at 32 per cent, while Coalition Avenir Quebec dropped six percentage points to 13 per cent.

The results of the poll tallied as follows:

Quebec Liberal Party: 45% (39% on Mar. 5)
Parti Quebecois: 32% (32% on Mar. 5)
Coalition Avenir Quebec: 13% (19% on Mar. 5)
Quebec Solidaire: 7% (7% on Mar. 5)

The poll also revealed a significant leap in the approval ratings of Legault – from 32 per cent to 48 per cent since March 5, while Liberal leader Couillard also saw a 10-point jump. 

The poll surveyed 1,650 people on March 19, 2014, with a margin of error of 3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

©2014Shaw Media

Group that helps homeless veterans gets $40,000 donation – Halifax

HALIFAX – A locally founded organization that helps homeless and at-risk veterans got a major funding boost Thursday.

Wounded Warriors Canada, which helps veterans who have been wounded or injured in service, presented VETS Canada with a $40,000 cheque.

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“We are so excited today to make this presentation as part of our commitment to the wonderful work that VETS Canada has already done,” said Phil Ralph, the organization’s national program chairman. He said the money would also help in “ensuring this service is offered from coast to coast.”

Scott Maxwell, the executive director of Wounded Warriors Canada, said the announcement was not just about the money.

He said it was “about a partnership between two organizations that are going and believe in exactly the same thing.”

VETS Canada aims to help veterans who have not made successful transitions from their service careers to civilian lives, including some who have lost everything and are living on the streets.

Jim Lowther, the president and founder of VETS Canada, said those are the people his organization will try to help with the donation.

“Money that we get goes directly to the veteran,” he said. “We want to make sure the essentials — food, clothing, lodging — are taken care of right away.”

Since launching in Nova Scotia four years ago, VETS Canada has spread to every province across the country. The organization has helped more then 175 veterans get back on their feet, and operates solely on donations.

“The $40,000 is a substantial injection of money into our account,” said Barry Yhard, the executive director of VETS Canada. “I’m the business end of the organization, so I’m constantly worried about [if] we have enough money to get where we need to be. This gives me a huge breathing space to get us to our next major donation.”

Ralph said even with Canada having withdrawn its military presence in Afghanistan, some of the veterans who were there will need help from organizations like his within the next decade.

©2014Shaw Media