Ongoing History Daily: Modest backstage needs

Back in the imperial period of David Bowie’s career in the 1970s, he ingested a lot of drugs and alcohol at all times of the day and night. By the time he got to the late 90s, he’d long since cleaned up and wasn’t much into the excesses of the old days. For example, when he was preparing for an appearance at the BRIT Awards, all he wanted was a few slices of ham on a baguette.

Billy Idol loves a specific brand of chocolate chip cookies. Marilyn Manson’s big request was gummy bears—although he often asked for a bald toothless hooker just to see if the promoter could do it.

And Nine Inch Nails was known for asking for two boxes of cornstarch for the dressing rooms. Your guess is as good as mine, although it may have something to do with keeping leather pants from sticking and chafing.

© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Ongoing History Daily: Rock star pre-show rituals

If you’re an artist, you need to get into the zone, the right headspace, before you step onstage. This often leads to a number of interesting pre-show rituals. It could be something as simple as getting a B-12 injection, something that Prince did.

That’s completely opposite to the Foo Fighters who blast Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall album while drinking many shots of Jaegermeister. Jack White has been known to knock back whiskey and Redbull while smashing things with a baseball bat. Weezer is a little more sedate. They like to toss around a Frisbee before a show because Rivers Cuomo says that not only helps with concentration but also warms up their hands.

Then there’s Thom Yorke. He needs silence for hours before a show so he can meditate and stand on his head for a while.

© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Ongoing History Daily: That time when Shaq almost sued 311

Back in the early 2000s, Omaha’s 311 was on a real roll, selling lots of records, playing plenty of gigs, and making their share of big-budget music videos.

In 2001, they managed to get Shaquille O’Neal for a cameo in the video for their song You Wouldn’t Believe. At the time, O’Neal was playing for the LA Lakers and the team was in the middle of a playoff run. The team stipulated that O’Neal was not to play any basketball outside of official games and practices for fear that he might get hurt.

But 311 convinced him to play a little hoops in this video, completely in contravention of orders from the Lakers. There was an added complication.

For some reason, O’Neal showed up with two left shoes. Where was anyone going to get a pair of size 22 basketball shoes at short notice? Nowhere. Shaq still agreed to appear in the video—but if anyone filmed his feet, he promised that he’d sue.

© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Free Calgary tour offers insight into the magical world of honey bees

A free tour is being offered in Calgary this summer with the purpose of educating people on the important role bees play in the ecosystem.

MOB Honey has five urban hives built in the East Village with each containing thousands of honey bees.

“They’ve created all this fresh wax,” said owner Amber Yano as she pulled out a shelf from the hive, with thousands of friendly bees climbing all over bits of honeycomb, peeks of fresh raw honey oozing from holes.

Most of the bees are female workers. The rest are male ‘drones’ who leave the hives to mate and, of course, a single queen. She is the only one who lays eggs.

Yano says the current population of 20,000 will multiply up to 70,000 as the summer continues. “But you won’t see them out because only 10 per cent of the hive goes out to forage.”

Those that do will travel up to 10 kilometres, enriched by the vast array of pollinators — including mustard, wild rose and sweet clover — along the nearby riverbank.

The tour aims to help inspire people to create bee-friendly spaces. In a time where bees around the world are threatened, Yano says every little bloom helps.

“Just encouraging more spaces for pollinators, creating habitat in your front yard or backyard,” said Yano. “Climate change, over pesticide usage in the landscape and loss of habitat. These are things everything has to contend with.”

The honey produced at the five urban hives are sold as MOB Honey’s East Village label.

To find out more information on dates and times of the free summer tours, visit Eventbrite.


© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Calgary man charged with arson after Inglewood fire investigation

A Calgary man was charged with arson after an investigation into a fire in the Inglewood area.

On Monday at around 6 p.m., the Calgary Police Service said officers were patrolling the area and saw a large black cloud of smoke coming from the wooded area just east of the Bow Habitat Station & Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery.

Officers then arrived at Pearce Estate Park at 1440 17A Street S.E., where Calgary firefighters were already fighting the fire. The fire quickly spread to around three acres in diameter, according to a CPS release on Tuesday.

Police evacuated the park as a precaution. No injuries were reported, the release said.

Police said a man then came forward and allegedly admitted to starting the fire. Officers said the man collected fluffy debris from nearby trees, gathered them into a pile and lit the pile ablaze.

Danny Manuel Deringer, 33, was charged with one count of arson.

He is scheduled to appear in court on July 7.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Beloved Pacific Buffet sails into the sunset, BC Ferries seeks input on possible replacement

The Pacific Buffet on the Tsawwassen - Swartz Bay route was suspended during the pandemic, and due to cost and staffing issues, BC Ferries has decided not to bring it back.

BC Ferries is seeking public feedback on a replacement for its beleaguered all-you-can-eat Pacific Buffet, which is sailing into the sunset for good.

The company confirmed Tuesday it will no longer offer the famed service on sailings between Tsawwassen in the Lower Mainland and Swartz Bay in Victoria, noting that it has always operated at a significant financial loss.

“Pre-pandemic, the buffet required seven staff members per sailing, or more than 80 crew in total and lost approximately $1.2 million annually,” it said in a news release.

“Price modelling found the buffet would continue to lose money even with a price hike of up to 30 per cent due to the increased costs of food and labour.”

The Pacific Buffet closed for health and safety reasons during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the last year it operated, BC Ferries said it attracted less than nine per cent of close to 5 million passengers who sailed between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay.

Between April 1, 2019, and Feb. 29, 2020, a little over 432,000 passengers ate at the Pacific Buffet — 9.2 per cent of all Spirit of Vancouver Island passengers, 8.9 per cent of all Spirit of British Columbia passengers, and 8.3 per cent of all Coastal Celebration passengers.

“The food industry has been significantly challenged by the pandemic; fewer food suppliers, supply chain unreliability, new attitudes about food safety and waste as well as record high food costs have forced all businesses to rethink their strategies,” said BC Ferries CEO Nicolas Jimenez in the release.

“I know the hard decision to permanently close our buffets will be disappointing to those who used and loved them but the timing is right to re-think the space based on what our customers tell us.”

BC Ferries has launched a 12-question online survey to collect rider input on services that could replace the buffet. It will be open for three weeks.

The survey asks participants about what dining services they have previously used on Tsawwassen-to-Swartz Bay sailings, what kinds of food they’d be most interested in if a new option were created, how they would like that option to be priced, and what kind of atmosphere they would enjoy most.

BC Ferries said it has previously explored ideas such as a sports bar, an on-board casino, a private reception space, as well as gym and spa services, but none were feasible for a variety of reasons, including regulatory and financial.

As it examines other options, the company said the buffet dining room will remain open as an additional seating option, and food and drink will continue to be available in the Coastal Café, Seawest Lounge and Arbutus Coffee Bar through the peak summer season.

BC Ferries said it has not yet decided on the future of the Vista Buffet on the Port Hardy-to-Prince Rupert Northern Expedition, but the service’s suspension will continue for now.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Kelly Talks to Canadian electronic duo Young Bombs

It was so awesome to chat with Martin and Tristan of Young Bombs who are both Vancouver natives! We chatted about how they got together and all about the early days. We also talked about their newest single Bad which is fire!! and about how the song came together. The music video is also super fun so I had to ask them all about the 70’s theme. Come join our conversation and get to know this amazing duo who is YOUNG BOMBS!

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Continually delayed Valley Line LRT has residents contemplating moving

WATCH: For the sixth time since November, a vehicle has collided with a Valley Line LRT train while it has been doing test runs and operator TransEd says all of the crashes are the result of drivers not paying attention to signage and making illegal right turns. Morgan Black explains what is being done to help drivers understand the new system.

Edmonton residents are growing frustrated with the seemingly never-ending delays with opening the LRT Valley Line, to the point of considering packing up their houses and moving.

Simone Dahlke lives right near the southeast station and has lived in this spot for 12 years. Her growing frustrations over the ever-delayed Valley Line have her contemplating leaving.

“By this time next year, I’m not going to be here. By this winter, I’m not going to be here,” she said, quickly changing her mind. “It’s crazy – the delays, the noise, lights not working.

“General consensus (in the neighbourhood) is nobody’s happy.”

A night owl, Dahlke said she hears the train at 1:30 in the morning and doesn’t understand why it’s being tested at that hour. She also pointed out the number of accidents that have occurred and questioned why there aren’t crossing arms to signal to drivers and pedestrians.

On Tuesday, Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said the city doesn’t have an opening date for the Valley Line but continues to test.

He said that once the testing is complete, there is an application process for a safety certificate through the city, then the line can open.

“Our focus is to ensure that when (the LRT) line opens, it is built to the standards we expect it to be built and that everything is done according to the specifications in the contract,” he said.

He said there’s a certain testing requirement in order for the train to run a full schedule and has not heard of any recent problems found.

While the testing and ongoing construction is proving disruptive to local residents, some see the amount of activity as a sign of progress.

David Cooper, principal of Leading Mobility Consulting, said there were some complexities with construction, including the river crossing. It is also the first low-floor urban LRT that Edmonton has seen, he added.

“It’s not unheard of for complexities to come up during construction and the overall timeline of the project. What I think is very encouraging right now is when I go downtown Edmonton or I go down the Valley Line I see trains every day that are testing and it looks like we’re getting much closer to an opening date just from the amount of activity we’re seeing on the system,” he said.

The Valley Line, which is the city’s biggest capital project in history, was set to be complete by 2020. It has been pushed back every year since.

While there is still no set date for the line that runs from Mill Woods to downtown, Cooper says he trusts that there’s a process in place and hopefully opening day comes soon.

Global News reached out to TransEd, however did not receive a response by time of publication.

— with files from Slav Kornik, Global News

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Will Canada's premiers tackle rental crisis next month? Advocates, tenants want action

WATCH: Rising mortgage costs impact rental markets

As governments across Canada work to build more housing and take measures to address affordability, some Canadians who live in the rental market say they’re feeling forgotten and want the premiers to take action when they meet next month.

“We vote these people in, and yet they do nothing for us,” Beverly Henry, a tenant at a Toronto-area apartment building, said.

Henry said she has lived at her apartment at 33 King St. for nearly a decade, but says as a retired senior with a fixed income, she has been unable to keep up with price increases she says have seen her rent increase by more than $400 in the last nine years.

“I work for over 30 years and now I can barely afford to put a roof over my head,” she said.

A recent report by found that nationwide, average rental costs remained above $2,000 a month in April – an increase of 9.6 per cent year over year from 2022 and 20 per cent compared with the pandemic low of 2021.

In the country’s biggest cities, rent for a one-bedroom unit can cost anywhere from about $1,860 in Halifax to $2,500 in Toronto and as much as $2,800 in Vancouver. That number increases by nearly $1,000 for a two-bedroom unit in some municipalities, with some units in Vancouver averaging about $3,740 a month.

With prices on the rise, organizations are urging the provincial and territorial governments, as well as their federal counterparts, to step up, including when the premiers gather for the Council of the Federation next month.

“It’s really important that our government, at all levels, whether it’s federal or provincial and municipal governments as well, play an important role,” Bahar Shadpour, director of policy and communications at the Canadian Centre for Housing Rights (CCHR), told Global News.

“Accept this reality as one that they have to work collaboratively together to solve.”

She said that depending on where Canadians live, regulations can vary on rental price increases, and she wants to see lawmakers work together to have “basic minimum protections in place” for renters across the country.

Some renters like Henry say they’re faced with above-guideline rent increases (AGI), in which the owner or landlord applies to the Landlord and Tenant Board for approval to raise rent higher than the province’s maximum amount allowed.

In Ontario, the current guideline is 2.5 per cent per year. Landlords can only raise rent above the provincial guideline if they have done or will do capital work on the property, or if they have provided or will provide a new or additional service.

Sharlene Henry, who is chair of the tenant association for 33 King St. and has no relation to Beverly, said seeing these increases “makes your stomach hurt as soon as you open the envelope.” She said they’ve faced about a 22 per cent AGI over the past five years.

“Our wages aren’t going up, our space is decreasing,” she said, referencing construction at the building.

“But when a person has to choose between paying their rent at the end of the month, because they pride themselves in paying it on time on the first, and putting food on their table, there’s a problem, a huge problem, and the governments need to recognize that.”

Dream — the company that owns 33 King St. — provided a statement saying it was working “one-on-one with tenants” to develop individual payment plans to “help alleviate financial pressures.”

Hero Mohtadi, vice-president of residential operations and asset management, also said previous rent increases had been done for work on the building with more construction underway to ensure the “long-term viability and safety of the building.”

She added that the company had increased the amount of affordable housing units exempt from AGI increases, that she said represents 40 per cent of the building.

Ahead of the Council of the Federation meeting in July, Shadpour said governments need to work to ensure people have access to adequate, affordable and secure homes.

Asked if the rental market would be addressed during the meeting of premiers, Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson, who serves as council chair, said in a statement that the premiers were working to address affordability challenges.

“This has been a constant focus area, as Canadians face rising prices, cost of living increases and housing concerns,” she wrote.

However, she did not say if rental prices would specifically be a focus during the upcoming summit.

In Canada, six provinces have rent control policies in place, while the remaining jurisdictions have rules in place on how and when rent increases can occur — but not a firm limit on the amount that it can be raised.

While rent and regulations surrounding it are primarily managed by provincial and territorial governments, Shadpour says the federal government can still bring the premiers together and provide guidelines on what good rent regulation looks like.

Babajide (Anthony) Alao, who lives in a Toronto building without rent control, said the lack of such regulation leaves people worried.

“It brings a lot of fear and uncertainty to young professionals (and) virtually everyone living in the building,” he told Global News.

Alao says he’d like to see premiers help strengthen tenant advocacy groups, and close legal loopholes that allow for rent increases above provincial guidelines.

Another way the federal government could get involved is in a way similar to the Canada Health Act, according to Andy Yan, the director of the city program at Simon Fraser University.

“We have the (Canada) Health Act, which is intended to create a level of standardization across the provinces when it comes to health care,” he said in an interview. “That should be something that’s going to be occurring in housing, that we should have a housing equity act at the federal level.”

The Canada Health Act lays out the criteria for “reasonable access to health services without financial or other barriers,” meaning Canadians must have access to insured health services for essential care without facing direct charges for treatment.

So why not lay out a similar basic standard for reasonable rental access?

Two months ago, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. released a forecast that found Canadian renters have a tough few years in store due to a mixture of the unaffordable housing market and a limited supply of rental homes.

The CMHC pointed out that the existing rental supply is already low, and competition for these units is getting hotter as Canada sees strong immigration levels.

In a 2022 report, the organization said 22 million housing units would be required by 2030 to achieve housing affordability “for everyone living in Canada.”

CMHC chief economist Bob Dugan told reporters in April that short supply is most evident during turnover in markets like Toronto, with the average rent of a unit that changed hands soaring 29 per cent from the previous tenant’s rate.

Yan said a beneficial tool that governments could look into is rental registries nationwide, saying it could help in making housing policy and addressing issues facing renters and owners.

“This is where something like a rental registry helps begin to provide the answers and to provide actually basic information like what (are) the ongoing rents,” he said. “It’s going to be a combination of policies around supply, demand and finance that is really going to help us move forward into the future.”

Shadpour added that a rental registry would not just help governments, but also renters in terms of information on what rentals are available in their city.

“(It) would be a really advantageous way to inform tenants about just what the previous tenant was paying so that even if there are these competing applications that renters are putting into a particular unit they like, they’re not really going above and beyond what the previous tenant is paying,” she said.

But as advocates hope the premiers will take action, renters remain concerned they’ll be left without housing as they face issues ranging from rent increases to evictions.

“It’s hard because you feel like you don’t have control of your living situation,” Sidonia Cole, who is being evicted, said.

Cole said her unit, which is not rent-controlled, saw a rent increase of about $300 in the past year. Then, only a week ago, she said she and her partner were given two months’ notice they were being evicted as the landlord said she wanted to move her daughter into the unit.

Now, the couple are left trying to decide where they can live next and are even contemplating moving in with their parents while they consider saving to eventually buy a home as they’re being priced out of the rental market.

“It’s kind of a sh—y feeling and I just feel resentful that it’s something we feel we have to do because we’ve been put in this situation,” she said.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Preparations in talks for Regina's 80th annual D-Day commemorations next year

Regina is commemorating the anniversary of D-Day and preparing to honour the 80th anniversary next year.

The regimental flag was raised at Regina City Hall today and residents heard speeches from Lt.-Col. Kyle Clapperton, who is also the commanding officer of the Royal Regina Rifles, as well as Regina Police Service (RPS) Chief Evan Bray and Mayor Sandra Masters.

“They played an incredible major role in the liberation of Europe, one that Europe continues to honour to this day,” said Mayor Masters.

“It is our obligation to reflect on that courage and that sacrifice in the resilience of those who fought on those distant beaches in the Second World War.”

“Today is the day that the regiment as one of the assault battalions landed on the beaches of Normandy known as Juno Beach, in his sector called Nan Green … and turned the tide on that fight against Nazi tyrannies,” said Clapperton.

“No surprise that the soldiers of the Regina Rifle Regiment, as it was known then, good old farm boys from Saskatchewan, knew how to pick up that fight and assault those beaches and fight inland further than any of the other Allied forces that day.”

At the ceremony, plans for next year’s anniversary were also announced at the commemoration event.

Next June 6, 2024, there will be a tour of the battle grounds in Europe for current serving rifles and a statue will also be unveiled of a Regina Rifleman on the Juno beach seawall.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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