Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam acknowledges he's still working himself back into game shape after losing a considerable amount of weight while in health and safety protocols.
Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam acknowledges he's still working himself back into game shape after losing a considerable amount of weight while in health and safety protocols.
Clapboard Jungle review – confessions of an indie horror film director. Canadian director Justin McConnell has created a self-indulgent selfie-fest – I’d pass on his fantasy horror too
There are hackers, data-hungry companies, developers, advertisers, and snoops on the hunt for your information. You can do something about that.
In a difficult year for REITs, Four Corners managed to increase its dividend. But there's a major risk here that investors need to understand.
Since mid-March, the IRS has delivered 127 million stimulus payments as part of President Biden's efforts to restore the economy and assist families struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the third stimulus payment, valued at $1,400 per eligible American. A generous emergency fund is particularly important during these uncertain times.
What is your vision for the future of the Beaver Valley and the former Talisman Resort? The municipality of Grey Highlands will begin public consultation around the former Talisman Resort property as part of its overarching Beaver Valley Community Visioning Sessions later this month. “We plan to start conversations in April and I suspect this project will evolve through continuous conversations,” said Michele Harris, director of economic development for Grey Highlands. On behalf of the municipality, the Planning Partnership consultation firm will be undertaking a virtual public workshop on April 28. Grey Highlands council members approved a contract with the Planning Partnership for $12,000 to undertake the initial community engagement process of the Beaver Valley Visioning project in early April. The Planning Partnership is the same firm the municipality has contracted to undertake its Downtown Markdale Visioning Project. The workshop on April 28 will discuss various fundamental principles that may shape future planning in the Beaver Valley corridor, such as view corridors, natural heritage features, topography, focus areas, trail links, and community amenities. "We anticipate that these preliminary discussions will be the beginning of longer-term conversations with the community. As we introduce the context for the overall visioning we will certainly be speaking to a number of factors that are going to be important considerations for the community as we move forward," explained Harris. She explained that those factors include, but are not limited to: the municipality’s undertaking of an outdoor adventure tourism strategy and action plan focusing on the Beaver Valley corridor; challenges and issues the community is feeling related to over-tourism; opportunities for trails development; and ecological preservation. Following the virtual workshop, a digital engagement initiative is expected to take place that will allow the public to provide a clear sense of their support, or lack of support, for the principles produced out of the initial workshop on the April 28. The results of both these public consultation initiatives are expected to be presented to council by the end of May. “This will help inform council in their decision-making processes and help gauge resident sentiment on this and a variety of issues,” Harris said. The Beaver Valley Visioning Sessions are expected to include several discussions around the former Talisman Resort lands as they sit in the heart of the Beaver Valley. Currently, the Talisman property is segmented into three parcels of land – two-thirds of that land is owned by the municipality and one-third is owned by the Ontario number company, 2420124 Ontario Inc., which is owned by Phil Calvano and Brian Ellis. The land that hosts the former Talisman Resort has a rich history and, at one point in time, the Talisman held the title of Ontario’s largest ski resort. The 200-acre property originally opened its doors on Christmas Eve in 1963 and over the decades was the backdrop for endless community memories. In 2009 the resort ran into financial difficulties, claimed bankruptcy and was forced to close. “The closure of the former Talisman Resort was a significant loss for the entire community and is still missed by residents and visitors,” Harris added. During its financial struggle, $2.4 million in tax arrears developed on the property, and in 2013, the municipality of Grey Highlands made the decision to take over the property through a vesting process. Grey Highlands then held two tax sales in an attempt to collect the $2.4 million in tax arrears but received no bids. At the time, the council noted that doing nothing about the property was not an option as it had become a hazard after flooding damage and reoccurring break-ins. “The municipality then severed off the top portion of the property (58.9 acres), and the remaining property (141 acres) was purchased by 2420124 Ontario Inc.,” Harris explained. The Ontario number company purchased the 141-acre portion of the property for $1.8 million. For the past several years, Ellis and his partners invested millions and worked diligently to restore the property and its original buildings. However, substantial issues around drainage, mould, accessibility and fire code requirements dramatically increased the required budget and timeline to restore the property. At the time of sale, the number company purchased the property in two segments – the lodge property (66.3 acres) and the golf course property (74.8 acres). The numbered company met the mortgage terms for the lodge property and the mortgage was released from title in 2018. However, in 2019 the municipality filed a statement of claim with the Superior Court of Justice to foreclose the golf course property. “Approximately, two years ago, the municipality foreclosed on the former golf course property (74.8 acres), and ownership was transferred to the municipality,” Harris continued. In early March of this year, the municipality announced it had formed a joint-venture agreement with the number company around the resort lands, which formalizes both party’s commitment to collectively market and promote the opportunities available within all three properties. Since the signing of the agreement, both parties have been working collectively with thinkCOMPASS, a global consulting firm that specializes in helping businesses and government bodies strategize and execute plans for growth. “The former Talisman Resort lands are the anchor properties in the heart of the Beaver Valley," said Luigi Presta, CEO of thinkCOMPASS. "Any future undertaking on these properties will have the opportunity to propel Grey Highlands and the region as a world-class tourism destination that offers remarkable products and experiences that are authentic, driven by visitor demand, exceed expectations, and align with the community cultural brand.” Presta explained that the role of the consultation firm is to advise and guide the partners through the complexity of the opportunities that are available, and to provide expertise on how to protect the collective interests of both parties. “Over the past months, we have been working with the municipality, Grey County, and various agencies, undertaking an extensive process of research and consultation, feasibility options and exploring best practices for sustainable community development,” he said. “Based on the information we’ve garnered to date, we have been presenting the opportunity to any potential interested parties, responding to any queries that come forward, and continuing to seek out interest.” According to Presta, any serious interest in the properties would need to be presented to each of the property owners in question and they will ultimately make the decision about how they each want to move forward. “This initiative has the potential to stimulate an undertaking that would support job creation, attract increased investment in the community, provide a new stimulus to the municipal tax base, and encourage the building of new local amenities to support the community needs,” Presta continued. On April 28, the municipality, through the Planning Partnership, will begin its initial conversation with the community about the Beaver Valley Visioning project. Two virtual sessions will be held from 1 to 3:30 p.m. and 4 to 6:30 p.m. The sessions are open to the public and you do not need to be a resident of Grey Highlands to participate. Interested parties can register online. Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca
Paul McCartney: McCartney III Imagined review – classy remixes by proxy. (Universal)Beck, 3D, St Vincent and more are invited to put their own distinct spin on Macca’s homemade 2020 album
The Republic of False Truths by Alaa al-Aswany review – the personal cost of a failed coupThis fictionalised account of the Egyptian uprising of 2011 has an eye for telling detail in the choice between struggle and self-preservation An exile with a message: Alaa al-Aswany. Photograph: Liselotte Sabroe/EPA
Texas bill to carry gun without permit advances to state senate. If passed, Texans over age 21 could carry a gun without training or a background check. The state would be the 14th to have such a law
The world needs a patent waiver on Covid vaccines. Why is the UK blocking it?. Letting countries create their own generic versions of the jabs is the best way to combat the spread of vaccine-resistant variants
It's possible to become a multimillionaire by investing in the stock market, but you'll need to choose the right investments. Investing in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) is a smart way to diversify your investments, because you're investing in dozens or hundreds of stocks at once. There are different types of ETFs, though, including broad-market funds and niche funds.
Robert Whittaker entered the octagon on Saturday for the UFC Vegas 24 main event against Kelvin Gastelum about the same time as internet celebrity turned boxer Jake Paul entered the ring to face retired UFC welterweight Ben Askren. Whittaker, the former middleweight champion, solidified his place as the top contender in the 185-pound division with a dominating win over Gastelum. During Whittaker's dismantling of Gastelum, Paul scored a first-round knockout in his boxing bout against Askren. During the UFC Vegas Post-fight Press Conference at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Whittaker was asked about Paul's TKO win over Askren. Light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz to face Glover Teixeira at UFC 266 "Askren's not known for his boxing, is he? But good on him. Good on him. He's doing his thing. Do your thing. Good on him," said Whittaker. The salaries for the Triller Fight Club event were disclosed on Friday and showed that Askren received $500,000 for the bout against Paul. Askren lost the fight but cashed in financially. Asked if he would box Paul for $500,000, Whittaker responded without hesitation. "I'd fight him for less," he said.
If you're looking for a few software stocks to add to your portfolio right now, here's why Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ: ZM), Datadog (NASDAQ: DDOG), and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) look like good buys right now. Brian Withers (Zoom): It seems funny calling Zoom stock a laggard after its incredible run over the past year.
NEW YORK, April 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Geron Corp. (NasdaqGS: GERN) Lifshitz Law Firm, P.C. announces that on April 12, 2021, the Court issued an Order granting in part and denying in part Defendants' Motion to Dismiss a putative class action complaint that alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants misled investors regarding a drug called imetelstat, which was intended to treat certain cancers that occur in bone marrow. Specifically, the Complaint alleges that Defendants: (1) misled investors about the results of a clinical drug study of imetelstat called IMbark; and (2) as a result, Defendants' statements about Geron's business, operations, and prospects were materially false and misleading and lacked a reasonable basis at all relevant times. If you are a GERN investor, and would like additional information about our investigation, please complete the Information Request Form or contact Joshua Lifshitz, Esq. by telephone at (516)493-9780 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jeld-Wen Holding, Inc. (NYSE: JELD) Lifshitz Law Firm, P.C. announces that on October 26, 2020, the Court issued an Order denying Defendants' Motions to Dismiss a putative class action complaint that alleges that throughout the Class Period, Jeld-Wen stated that its products, including doors, compete against those of other manufacturers based on price, and described the market in which the Company sells its doors as "highly competitive." The Company also repeatedly attributed its strong margins and anticipated margin growth to legitimate business factors, such as "strategic pricing decisions" and an increased emphasis on "pricing optimization." The Complaint alleges that these and similar statements made by Defendants during the Class Period were false and misleading because Defendants knew that Jeld-Wen was engaged in a price-fixing conspiracy and that as a result of Defendants' misrepresentations, shares of Jeld-Wen's common stock traded at artificially inflated prices throughout the Class Period. If you are a JELD investor, and would like additional information about our investigation, please complete the Information Request Form or contact Joshua Lifshitz, Esq. by telephone at (516)493-9780 or e-mail at email@example.com. Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL) Lifshitz Law Firm, P.C. announces that on March 22, 2021, the Court issued an Order granting in part and denying in part Defendants' Motion to Dismiss a putative class action complaint that alleges the Company and certain officers misrepresented the true drivers of the Company's cloud revenue growth. In particular, the Complaint alleges that Defendants falsely attributed the Company's revenue growth in its cloud segment to a variety of factors and initiatives, including, among other things, Oracle's "unprecedented level of automation and cost savings," as well as the Company being "customer-focused" and "intimate partners with our customer." The Complaint alleges that in truth, Oracle drove sales of cloud products using threats and extortive tactics. The use of such tactics concealed the lack of real demand for Oracle's cloud services, making the growth unsustainable and ultimately driving away customers. Among other things, the Company threatened current customers with "audits" of their use of the Company's non-cloud software licenses unless the customers agreed to shift their business to Oracle cloud programs. If you are an ORCL investor, and would like additional information about our investigation, please complete the Information Request Form or contact Joshua Lifshitz, Esq. by telephone at (516)493-9780 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.© 2021 Lifshitz Law Firm, P.C. The law firm responsible for this advertisement is Lifshitz Law Firm, P.C. LLP, 1190 Broadway, Hewlett, New York 11557, Tel: (516)493-9780. Prior results do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future matter. Contact: Joshua M. Lifshitz, Esq.Lifshitz Law Firm, P.C.Phone: 516-493-9780Facsimile: 516-280-7376Email: email@example.com
New York, NY, April 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- (GTII:OTCQB) – Global Tech Industries Group, Inc. (OTCQB: GTII) (“GTII” or the “Company”), www.gtii-us.com, a Nevada corporation, announced today an update regarding its warrant distribution. The Company has completed the Warrant distribution through DTCC to all brokers of record who hold common shares of GTII stock for their clients. GTII would like to clarify that all warrants have been delivered and are in shareholders accounts, as applicable. Shareholders can reregister their shares at no cost with the transfer agent of record, Liberty Stock Transfer, Inc., by following the steps below: If you held your common stock in “street name” as of the record date of April 1, 2021, and your Warrants have been allocated to your account by your bank or broker, you nevertheless maintain the right to move your Warrants to direct registration with the Company’s transfer agent by making such request directly to your bank or broker. To assist you in this process, if you make such an election, the Company has posted on its website a “Shareholder Request to Bank/Broker” form that you may use, which may help expedite the process. http://gtii-us.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/2021-Warrant-Exercise-Form.pdf If you decide to use this form, please remember to email a copy of the completed form to the Company’s transfer agent via email, simultaneous with the transmission to your bank/broker, as instructed on the form. Inquiries from shareholders or participants regarding the Warrant distribution can also be directed as follows, either to Liberty Stock Transfer, Inc. at: firstname.lastname@example.org Or to Alliance Advisors, Inc., GTII’s Information Services Company, at: Email: GTII@allianceadvisors.comTel: 855.200.8651 About Global Tech Industries Group, Inc.: GTII, a Nevada corporation, specializing in the pursuit of acquiring new and innovative technologies. Please follow our company at: www.otcmarkets.com/stock/GTII Safe Harbor Forward-Looking Statements:This press release may contain forward looking statements that are based on current expectations, forecasts, and assumptions that involve risks as well as uncertainties that could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from those anticipated or expected, including statements related to the amount and timing of expected revenues related to our financial performance, expected income, distributions, and future growth for upcoming quarterly and annual periods. These risks and uncertainties are further defined in filings and reports by the Company with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Actual results and the timing of certain events could differ materially from those projected in or contemplated by the forward-looking statements due to a number of factors detailed from time to time in our filings with the SEC. Among other matters, the Company may not be able to sustain growth or achieve profitability based upon many factors including but not limited to the risk that we will not be able to find and acquire businesses and assets that will enable us to become profitable. Reference is hereby made to cautionary statements set forth in the Company's most recent SEC filings. We have incurred and will continue to incur significant expenses in our development stage, noting that there is no assurance that we will generate enough revenues to offset those costs in both the near and long term. New lines of business may expose us to additional legal and regulatory costs and unknown exposure(s), the impact of which cannot be predicted at this time. Words such as “estimate,” “project,” “predict,” “will,” “would,” “should,” “could,” “may,” “might,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “intend,” “believe,” “expect,” “aim,” “goal,” “target,” “objective,” “likely” or similar expressions that convey the prospective nature of events or outcomes generally indicate forward-looking statements. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of this press release. Unless legally required, we undertake no obligation to update, modify or withdraw any forward-looking statements, because of new information, future events or otherwise. Blaine Riley – email@example.com International Monetary620 Newport Center Drive, #1100Newport Beach, CA 92660949.200.4601
"The Liberals need to stop making promises they have no intention of keeping and present a concrete plan to support people in need."
Investors with losses are encouraged to contact the firm before April 30, 2021; click here to submit trade information LOS ANGELES, April 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Portnoy Law Firm advises investors that a class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of MoneyGram International, Inc.. (NASDAQ: MGI) investors that acquired shares between June 17, 2019 and February 22, 2021. Investors have until April 30, 2021 to seek an active role in this litigation. Investors are encouraged to contact attorney Lesley F. Portnoy, to determine eligibility to participate in this action, by phone 310-692-8883 or email, or click here to join the case. It is alleged in this complaint that MoneyGram made misleading and false statements to the market. MoneyGram was utilizing XRP, the cryptocurrency associated with its Ripple partnership, which was considered as an unregistered and therefore unlawful security by the SEC. MoneyGram was likely to lose a significant revenue stream if the SEC took enforcement action against Ripple based on market development fees it received due to the partnership. MoneyGram’s revenues from these development fees was critical to its financial results. MoneyGram’s public statements were false and materially misleading throughout the class period. Investors suffered damages when the market learned the truth about MoneyGram. A class action lawsuit has already been filed. If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than April 30, 2021. Please visit our website to review more information and submit your transaction information. The Portnoy Law Firm represents investors in pursuing claims arising from corporate wrongdoing. The Firm’s founding partner has recovered over $5.5 billion for aggrieved investors. Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes. Lesley F. Portnoy, Esq.Admitted CA and NY Barlesley@portnoylaw.com310-692-8883www.portnoylaw.com Attorney Advertising
These days, Taylor Levesque radiates joy. Her conversations are punctuated with frequent, boisterous laughter, her messages and social media posts generously sprinkled with exclamation marks and heart emojis. It's a far cry from six years ago. At age 15, Levesque was not in a good place. She was depressed, lonely, struggling with some dark days. "I was going through a rough time," said Levesque, now 21. "I was having problems with my father … he left when I was 11 and it's been on and off speaking with him for years." And then one day, a delivery truck rolled into the Tim Hortons she was working at in Saint John, and an older gentleman with a broad smile hopped out of the cab. Levesque didn't know it yet, but she was about to make a very dear friend. Normally, I'm a pretty shy person. But he was just so nice to talk to. - Taylor Levesque She helped the driver, Glenn Fisher, unload the truck and they got to chatting, and she was immediately struck by his cheeriness and easy banter. "Normally, I'm a pretty shy person," Levesque said, "but he was just so nice to talk to." Levesque found herself opening up to Fisher and looking forward to his delivery days. "He would help me unload the truck, even though I don't think he was supposed to … and we'd talk for hours while we worked. We joked around a lot, but we had quite a few serious talks too." Sometimes he'd offer advice, she said. Other times, he'd just let her vent. But always, inevitably, she said, he'd get her laughing and feeling good about herself. Taylor Levesque with Glenn Fisher at the Tim Hortons outlet they worked at.(Taylor Levesque/Facebook) Lots of laughs, but serious talks, too Levesque was well aware that Fisher was becoming a father figure. In fact, she said, she joked about it. "When he'd pull in to work I'd say 'Oh there's my stepdad.' " This went on for years, with Levesque sharing news of milestones in her life: she'd met a nice guy. Things got serious. She was happy. Then one day, abruptly, their visits came to a halt. Early last year, Levesque, who had just learned she was expecting a baby with her boyfriend, Calvin Ives, was laid off because of the pandemic. "Everything happened so fast," Levesque said. "I never had the chance to say goodbye to Glenn." As the months passed, she thought of him often. She'd heard he was no longer delivering to the Tim Hortons she'd worked at, and every now and then she'd check to see if he was on Facebook. "I always wondered where he was and how he was doing," she said. Especially after her daughter, Lillian, was born. "He would have loved to know that," she said. Six-month-old Lillian Ives's first Easter. Mom Taylor says she wanted Glenn to be a part of baby Lillian's life. (Taylor Levesque/Facebook) Like losing touch with family People drift into and out of each other's lives all the time, strangers meet, become friendly, then move on to new cities, new jobs, new lives. Levesque knows that. "Life goes on," she said. But losing touch with Glenn Fisher wasn't sitting well with her. She felt like she'd lost a family member. Finally, about a month ago, Levesque decided to try one last time to track him down. She knew Fisher wasn't on Facebook, but she figured someone might know someone who knew him. So she posted a callout: This is going to be a long shot BUT when I worked at Tim Hortons in Saint John, NB there was a man who did our Monday deliveries named GLEN. I don't know his last name but he is an amazing, funny man who I joked around with and called my step dad ... Glen helped me with a lot. About 2 months into my pregnancy I got laid off and never saw him again. I now have a 6 month old baby girl named Lillian and a home and getting married in 6 short months. I want him at my wedding and to meet my baby girl. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE SHARE THIS IN HOPE THAT SOMEBODY KNOWS HIM AND GETS HIM TO CONTACT ME!! MESSAGE ME IF YOU KNOW ANYTHING!! "I really didn't expect to find him," Levesque said. Taylor with her now-fiance, Calvin Ives, in Paris in 2018.(Taylor Levesque/Facebook) 'Do you have something you haven't told me?' But within minutes, Facebook sleuths were on the case. Dozens of people, then hundreds, began commenting and sharing the post. Within a few weeks, it had been shared more than 19,000 times and seen by people across the country. About an hour and a half away, in Moncton, Glenn Fisher's wife was one of those people. She stumbled across the post and was aghast. She looked across the room at her husband. "Uh, Glenn," she said. "Do you have something you haven't told me?" Fisher was perplexed. "About a step-daughter?" she prompted. "In Saint John?" And then the penny dropped. "Taylor!" Fisher exclaimed. Glenn meets Lillian, six months, for the first time. 'I got to hold her ... and Taylor was grinning from ear to ear,' he says.(Taylor Levesque/Facebook) 'Bowled over' by her search Shortly after his wife saw the post, people began calling and messaging from across the Maritimes and as far away as Ontario and British Columbia. "Taylor Levesque is looking for you," they'd say. Fisher was surprised that Taylor would go to the trouble of looking him up. "I was bowled over," he said in an interview, that infectious chuckle bubbling up within the first sentence. "It made me feel pretty special." He recalled their years-long work friendship fondly, recounting pretty much exactly the same reminiscences as Levesque did. "We laughed and joked and carried on all the time," he said. "She was a really good person, so full of bubbles and laughs." But Fisher, who has kids of his own, said he knew that deep down, Levesque was struggling. "She was quite sad, quite down in the dumps about what went on with her dad and stuff," he said. "I'd just sit down and listen to her and give her my perspective." Eventually, Fisher and Levesque reconnected by phone and talked for hours. Levesque invited him and his wife to her wedding and asked him to come to her house for a visit. "She said 'I want you to come and see Lillian and hold Lillian,' " Fisher said. "I was overwhelmed." The reunion Finally, on April 10, Fisher and his wife pulled into the driveway of Levesque's home in Grove Hill. Levesque, her mom, her sisters, baby Lillian, fiancé Calvin — an entire welcoming committee — streamed out to greet them, Fisher recalled with a laugh. "Taylor hasn't changed a bit. She came out of the garage laughing, all smiles," he said. "Her fiancé said 'Omigosh, I'm so glad you're here because she wouldn't shut up about you!' I got to meet them all and hold the baby, and Taylor was grinning from ear to ear." Now that they've reconnected, both Levesque and Fisher say they won't lose touch again. They're already planning their next visit, and chatting regularly on Facebook. Fisher, who uses his wife's Facebook profile, comments on Levesque's every post, frequently praising baby Lillian, whom he calls "my little cuddlebug." When Levesque posted that she'd sent out the wedding invitations, Fisher immediately commented. "Hey my kiddo, we will be there!" Fisher said he's eagerly anticipating the big day, and Levesque said her "heart is full" knowing that Fisher will be in attendance and is back in her life. "I guess I really am her stepdad now — and a grandpa," Fisher said, with a laugh. "I'm okay with that."
From pandemic restrictions to changing shopping habits, the future of malls looks bleak. But some experts see a hopeful future if malls mimic the blueprint pioneered at West Edmonton Mall, the largest shopping centre in Canada. Triple Five Group, which owns West Edmonton Mall, was banking on that success with its $5-billion US American Dream megamall in New Jersey. The 2.9 million-square-foot building boasts entertainment attractions — like a waterpark and mini-golf —- mirroring those of the Edmonton mall. But the pandemic derailed its grand opening in March 2020 and its capacity has been curtailed since its delayed opening in October. But that mall-as-entertainment blueprint should work out for American Dream in the post-pandemic long run, according to Mark Faithfull, a retail analyst based in London, England. "I think we'll see a lot of big shopping centres performing quite strongly," he told CBC's Edmonton AM. "Personally, I'm actually pretty confident about their future." Other malls should be taking note, he added. Across North America, malls are seeing hard times. According to Moody's Analytics, the estimated vacancy rate for regional malls in the United States could reach a high of 12.7 per cent in 2021, up from 10.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2020. Meanwhile, Canadian data solutions company Altus Group says the rental market is predicted to decrease by five to 10 per cent in top-quality malls, and by more than 10 per cent for lower-quality malls. At 5.2 million square feet, West Edmonton Mall has an indoor waterpark, an amusement park, a golf course and a sea-lion show. In the past three years, the mall has opened some high-profile retail stores including French brand Louis Vuitton and popular Japanese fashion brand Uniqlo. Faithfull said shopping centres that pivot to becoming a multi-use, entertainment centre will give people reasons other than shopping to go to malls in the future. John Pracejus, director of the school of retailing at the University of Alberta, agrees. "That does seem to be something that is likely to increase in the future, whether that's the kind of entertainment that's the kind at West Edmonton Mall with waterparks and roller-coasters and things like that," he said. "The other trend that you see is that there's some activities that we don't typically think of as taking place in malls that may increase. So, for example, the Edmonton public library now has a branch in the (Londonderry) mall and you might start seeing things like that." People visit the American Dream mall, located in East Rutherford, New Jersey, in December 2019. The planned grand opening of the mall, planned for March 2020, was disrupted by the pandemic.(Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images) And although massive attractions of West Edmonton Mall may not be viable for every mall in Canada, even things like restaurants, leisure centres and bars will generate more foot traffic. Both Faithfull and Pracejus note that retail-only malls that are currently struggling may continue to decline. In fact, Faithfull said that the pandemic only sped up the process for many malls that were doomed to go under due to a shift to online shopping in the past decade. "We're seeing things accelerated at 100 miles-an-hour," he said. Faithfull said once people are vaccinated and things start to go back to normal, it will likely be three to four months before shopping centres start bouncing back. "We'll start to see whether some of those trends during the pandemic are longer-term or whether they were just a reaction to that the people couldn't get out and about," he said.
Some alcoholism treatment centres say the pandemic has seen more people looking for a cure to their woes at the bottom of a glass. Ben Brouchet is one of those people. "I was … a functioning alcoholic," he said. "Alcohol is a drug and it took over every part of my life … and I had nothing to do but free time to drink." Brouchet said he steadily saw his consumption increase while working in bars, but he didn't realize his new habit was an addiction until he lost his house, job, and car, in the floods that hit Calgary in 2013. In the morning I would have to put a shot of vodka in my coffee and I wouldn't necessarily get intoxicated, but I'd have to have it in my system to feel normal. - Ben Brouchet He tried one recovery program that didn't work for him before focusing on eating healthy, going to the gym and sleeping better. But when the pandemic hit and gyms closed, old habits returned. "It progressed so fast, it had a hold on me, like I could not stop," he said. "In the morning I would have to put a shot of vodka in my coffee and I wouldn't necessarily get intoxicated, but I'd have to have it in my system to feel normal. "I would go to work, I had my one drink before work, and then I'd come home and I'd do something as simple as watching the Food Network … but I would sit there for hours, just drink after drink." Brouchet said every morning he was waking up and feeling depressed — unrelated to anything going on in his life at the time. The 33-year-old decided to get help from Simon House Recovery Centre. He signed up for a 12-week program, based on Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, at the Calgary addiction treatment centre. Ben Brouchet, right, with counsellor Steven Archambault at Simon House. (Axel Tardieu/Radio-Canada) John Rook, president of the Simon House, said calls have increased dramatically and a dozen people are on the waitlist for the centre's programs. They currently have 66 clients. "People have lost their jobs. People are frustrated. People are feeling contained. And so what do they do? They turn to alcohol," he said. Other recovery centres in Calgary, like 1835 House and Smart Clinic, are also reporting waitlists. Capri Rasmussen, from Aventa, said it's seen a waitlist of three to four months this year for women seeking addiction treatment — and clients are managing additional recovery challenges like accessing child care and health concerns. One-in-four people say drinking has increased According to Statistics Canada, roughly a quarter of people say they have increased their alcohol consumption during the pandemic. After Ontario, the Prairie provinces have the highest rate of people self-reporting increased alcohol consumption at 27 per cent. Those who reported lower mental health were more likely to say they had increased substance use — reasons given included boredom, stress, convenience, loneliness and insomnia. Sim House's detox program costs $6,400. But before spending that much, there are many ways to access help — online, by phone, or in person. One of the most accessible continues to be Alcoholics Anonymous. An Alcoholics Anonymous member holds a coin that indicates 24 hours of sobriety. (Axel Tardieu/Radio-Canada) Brian estimates the number of people attending meetings at his branch in south Calgary has doubled. CBC News has agreed to only use the 50-year-old's first name to preserve his anonymity, in accordance with AA rules. "Seeing more people participate is good news in a way. Isolation is the worst thing for an alcoholic," Brian said. Brian said a close friend was recently found dead in her apartment, surrounded by empty bottles. He said he wants people to know that they shouldn't be afraid to ask for help —"It's wonderful to let go of this mental torture and finally feel at peace." Alberta Health Services offers an addiction helpline, which is available province-wide by calling 1-866-332-2322.
BOSTON — After he was elected mayor of Fall River, Massachusetts, at just 23 years old, it seemed Jasiel Correia's political career had nowhere to go but up. Bright and dynamic, Correia charmed voters by portraying himself as a successful entrepreneur who could revive the struggling old mill city. Prosecutors say in reality he was a fraud and a thief. Correia heads to trial this month on charges that he stole more than $230,000 from investors in a smartphone app he created to pay for things like a Mercedes, casino trips and adult entertainment. As mayor, he's accused of convincing his chief of staff to give him half of her salary in order to keep her city job and extorting hundreds of thousands of dollars from marijuana businesses seeking to operate there. The trial — one of the first to be held in Boston’s federal court since the start of the coronavirus pandemic — will showcase Correia’s dramatic rise and fall in the southeastern Massachusetts city of 89,000 that's still hurting by the collapse of its once-booming texting industry. Prosecutors will try to show that Correia swindled investors just like his critics say he smooth-talked voters into entrusting him with the city. “My husband says it best: He could convince the pope that there’s no God,” said Linda Pereira, a Fall River city councillor whom Correia defeated to be reelected mayor in 2017. Even as Correia's former chief of staff and three others have pleaded guilty in the extortion scheme, the former mayor, now 29, has remained defiant. He has denied any wrongdoing, insisted the app designed to help businesses connect with consumers was legitimate and blamed the charges on political foes who want to bring him down. The question now becomes: Will he take the stand to try to convince jurors? Correia's name is on the defence's witness list, but it remains unclear whether he will actually testify. Unlike many defendants who keep quiet to avoid saying anything that could be used against them in court, Correia has been outspoken since his 2018 arrest. He walked reporters through a PowerPoint presentation to rebut the allegations days after the first charges were brought, and participated in a documentary series executive produced by Mark Wahlberg about Correia's tumultuous political career. “If I’m doing something wrong, come and get me. Go ahead and do it. But I didn’t do anything wrong," Correia said in the series called “Run This City” that aired last year on the now-defunct streaming platform Quibi. “I’m innocent until proven guilty and I’m not going to be proven guilty,” he said. Jury selection is scheduled to begin on Tuesday. Correia faces charges including wire fraud, extortion conspiracy and bribery. His attorney declined to comment to The Associated Press, but has previously said the indictment “reads like a bad John Grisham novel” and that prosecutors have “no corroboration, no physical evidence, no legitimate witness.” After Correia became a city councillor at the age of 22, the city's local paper, The Herald News, described him as “a classic example of a Fall River kid made good.” Correia was at the centre of a media frenzy in 2014 when he alleged that Mayor Will Flanagan intimidated him with a gun during a late-night meeting over Correia’s support of a mayoral recall petition. Flanagan never faced criminal charges, but was recalled in an election that year and replaced by the county's district attorney. Correia will be defended at trial by the same lawyer who represented Flanagan during that probe. In the 2015 race against Mayor Sam Sutter, Correia touted the app called SnoOwl, capitalized on social media to reach voters and vowed to attract young residents and rebrand the city with the motto, “We'll try.” Sutter raised some questions about Correia's business, but said he regrets not seizing on the issue during the race. “Jasiel was making the case that he was a millionaire entrepreneur when he wasn’t and I kind of fault myself for not being able to expose that. I knew SnoOwl was a bust," Sutter said. Authorities say three years before Correia became mayor, he began seeking investors in his start-up, promising he wouldn't take a salary and had already sold another app for a big profit. Within weeks of getting $50,000 check from one investor, prosecutors say Correia used $10,000 of that to buy a Mercedes sedan. Over the next several months, prosecutors say Correia used investors' cash to pay for dating services, luxury hotels and designer clothes, ease his student loan debt and support his political career. Overall, prosecutors allege he spent nearly two thirds of the more than $360,000 he took from investors for himself. For months after his arrest, Correia resisted calls to leave office and survived a bizarre election in March 2019 during which he was recalled by voters and reelected the same night. But after federal agents arrested him a second time — this time for the extortion scheme — he agreed in October 2019 to take a leave of absence. He was ousted by voters the next month. As mayor, Correia is accused of soliciting bribes from marijuana companies in exchange for letters of approval from the city they need in order to get a license. Authorities say Correia or associates negotiated the bribes with owners of the companies at places like a swanky Boston steakhouse, cigar bars, and a Dunkin Donuts. “You're family now," Correia's chief of staff, Genoveva Andrade, told one of them after they agreed on the bribe during a meeting in 2018, authorities say in court documents. In another case, a middleman left an envelope filled with $25,000 in cash from a marijuana business owner in a shed behind the home of a Correia aide, prosecutors said. Authorities say the aide later returned the money to the middleman, saying Correia feared it was “Fed money." Three of Correia's associates who pleaded guilty in the extortion scheme are among those who could testify against him. Meanwhile, in Fall River, many who feel hurt by the former mayor will be watching closely. “There was a local person who I know personally who cried to me telling me how stupid he felt that this kid conned him," said Pereira, the city councillor. “I said, ‘You know what? Don’t feel that way because he convinced a whole community,’” she said. Alanna Durkin Richer, The Associated Press