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Monthly Archives: November 2018


Lawsuit launched against Catherine McKenna over woodland caribou protection

OTTAWA – Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is being sued for failing to tell Canadians how the country’s woodland caribou are being protected.

The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society filed an application for judicial review in Federal Court in Montreal today.

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Lawyer Frederic Paquin told a news conference in Montreal that the Species at Risk Act requires the environment minister to “form an opinion about whether or not the critical habitat of the woodland caribou is protected.”

“She was supposed to form that opinion more than four and a half years ago and she failed to do so,” said Paquin. “She is quite late.”

READ MORE: Alberta’s caribou recovery plan draws criticism from environmentalists

The original failure to report occurred under the previous government, but there have also been no reports since the Liberals and McKenna took office in 2015.

The woodland caribou habitat was publicly identified by Environment Canada in 2012. The Species at Risk Act says once the habitat of a species at risk is identified, the minister of environment has six months to determine if any part of that habitat is unprotected. Every six months after that, the minister is to produce a report on the progress towards protecting it until full protection is achieved.

The wilderness society argues there have been no reports at all since 2012.

Eric Hebert-Daly, national executive director for the Society, said this isn’t just about producing reports for the sake of reports. The purpose of the reports is to drive a work plan to actually protect the animals.

He said the caribou are an “umbrella species.” Protecting their boreal forest habitat would also protect the habitat of many other species, as well as fresh water sources and carbon sinks which help combat climate change.

“When we do what is right for the caribou, we do what is right for ourselves,” he said.

READ MORE: Wildlife group calls on federal government to stop turning pastures over to prairie provinces

McKenna’s office has not yet responded to a request for comment.

The woodland caribou habitat spans nine provinces and territories. Historically, their range covered more than half of present-day Canada, but they now occupy about 2.4 million square kilometres, about half their 19th century territory. They used to be found as far south as the northern United States in places like Washington, Idaho, Minnesota, Michigan and parts of New England.

The largest threat to the caribou is habitat loss, which has driven down the population. Industrial development remains the largest threat to the habitat, which is mostly on non-federal land.

The species was designated in 2002 as threatened by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. In 2011 Environment Canada estimated there were about 34,000 woodland caribou in 51 ranges in nine provinces and territories from Newfoundland to the Yukon.


How university, college students can make the most out of the 4-month break

After they write their exams and empty out their dorm rooms, university and college students have a months-long stretch of time until another school year.

How can they make the most of their extended break?

With that much time off, those in the workforce often dream of travelling abroad, learning a new language or mastering a skill such as baking, painting or working out daily. Students, on the other hand, may have other priorities on their minds.

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“I don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It’s all about establishing priorities, figuring out what’s realistic and attainable right now, and then setting some goals for yourself,” Ann Douglas, a parenting expert and author of Parenting Through the Storm, said.

READ MORE: Is the summer sapping your productivity at work? Here’s how to turn it around

“This is the last time they’ll have any chunk of time off so it’s a last opportunity. They have to be thoughtful with that time,” Alyson Schafer, a parenting expert and author of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, told Global News.

After graduating, students end up as juniors in the workplace, often on contracts or without paid vacation time, she said.

“When September rolls around and you say you had the best summer of your life when you managed to accomplish X, Y and Z, what does that look like to you?” Schafer said.

Here are the experts’ tips on how parents and students can make the most of the four-month break.

Gain work experience

Some students focus solely on academics, leaving their resumés bare. In this case, summers are meant for internships, job placements and real-life work.

“Up until this time for some students, there could be zero job experience. You have to make yourself well-rounded,” Schafer said. She’s the mother of two kids – one is at an interim job placement in university while the other graduates in the summer.

READ MORE: How to make healthy New Year’s resolutions that stick

Volunteering is an option too, if it snags students invaluable experience in the workforce.

Others may pick up an extra class during summer school to ease up on the course load once September comes around again.

Replenish the bank account

For some students, managing finances during the school year is incredibly difficult. Summer months are crucial for stockpiling savings to cover expenses from September to April.

“Not every student has the luxury of choice about how to spend their time this summer. Some students will only be able to afford to return to school in the fall if they manage to earn as much money as possible during the summer months,” Douglas said.

READ MORE: Self-control is within our reach even when we’re tired, scientists say

The experts encourage students to take up part-time or full-time jobs, even if it’s in retail or at a food court, for example.

“It’s not as awful as it sounds because at that age, all their peers are working at the same jobs so it’s a good opportunity to make new friends,” Schafer said.

Schedule downtime

If students are in medical school and residencies or chasing after athlete scholarships and getting scouted, the stakes are incredibly high during the school year.

Across the board, students need to earmark time for hitting the reset button and taking a pause.

READ MORE: These 5 life skills are the key to happiness, wealth and healthy aging

This doesn’t mean spending the summer playing Call of Duty, but it would include making time for reading books or taking up a passion project.

“It’s tempting to try to squeeze every conceivable experience into a single summer, but that can be a recipe for exhaustion and burnout – and most university students are already running on empty by the time the school year winds down,” Douglas told Global News.

“Kids are incredibly stressed more now than ever and we have to take mental health issues seriously,” Schafer said.

Build memories

Depending on other priorities, students may use their four-month block of time to travel abroad, go to festivals or volunteer in a different part of the world.

READ MORE: Why forgiving others will improve your physical, emotional health

If your finances allow it, students can take a course in a foreign country for a month or volunteer for weeks at a time building houses or helping out at an orphanage.

Set personal goals

Students need to make time for their inner growth, too. They could set goals like training for a marathon, taking an improv class or joining a book club over the summer. These could be priorities they can’t fit into their schedule during the school year.

Summer is a great time to reflect on what you want for yourself, both personally and professionally. Maybe you could set a goal for yourself of being more physically active (something you might be motivated to do if you found yourself slipping into couch potato mode while you were busy hitting the books) or to volunteer at a charity fundraiser for an organization that’s near and dear to your heart,” Douglas said.

READ MORE: Hoping to stay friends with an ex? Here’s why you need to read this study first

“Just realize that the list of things you’d like to accomplish this summer will inevitably exceed the number of hours available. Don’t let that discourage you. Let that motivate you to make the best possible use of your time,” she said.

How can parents help?

Parents need to strike a balance between offering guidance while being hands off. It’s during these university years that students need to test their initiative and autonomy, the experts say.

But parents also need to be forward and set boundaries. If you can’t help your child financially in the upcoming year, let them know.

READ MORE: Back to school tips for every age, stage and milestone

Ideally, this is a conversation that you had with your kids when they first applied for university.

“You might have said something like, ‘We’re happy to contribute to the cost of your education, but we expect you to earn money, too, by working during the summer months,’” Douglas said.

Talk to your kids without ordering them around, Schafer said. Aim for listening and keeping lines of communication open instead of being controlling.

READ MORE: 12 things parents and kids should do before summer ends

“The greatest way to have influence is to have a strong relationship so your kids will see you as having wisdom and sage advice. They’ll take your opinion and thoughts into consideration because they trust you,” Schafer said.

Remind your kids that they have a purpose, too.

“Let them now there will be an intersection between all of their gifts and strengths and how they will contribute to society. Parents need to provide that kind of spiritual confidence,” Schafer said.

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Motorcycle driver dies after crashing into back of Edmonton transit bus

A 24-year-old motorcycle driver died Thursday morning after being involved in a collision with a bus on a busy north Edmonton road.

Police said the fatal crash happened on 97 Street, near 157 Avenue, shortly after 9 a.m., shutting down a stretch of the road.

Police interviewed several witnesses and said the motorcycle hit the back of an Edmonton Transit System bus as it was slowing down to turn right.

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“From what the witnesses are telling us, excessive speed was a factor,” said Const. Joe Slemko with the Edmonton Police Service major collision investigation unit. “There was no braking and that essentially will possibly fall in line with some of the other circumstances that we have to look into prior to this collision occurring.”

Slemko said there was also no evidence of stunting, road rage or impairment.

“We’re just looking at the circumstances as far as the drivers that are involved here, their state of mind prior to this collision occurring,” he said.

Several police officers were on scene Thursday morning and the intersection was cordoned off with police tape. The ETS bus involved was pulled over to the side of the road.

“Obviously the driver of the bus is very shaken up, a lot of witnesses are very shaken up from what they observed. Like I say, extreme rate of speed into the back of a bus and all of them obviously traumatized by what they saw,” Slemko said, adding there was “absolutely no liability on the part of the ETS driver.”

Police said the man driving the motorcycle died on scene.

Drivers were asked to avoid the area while police investigated. The road was closed between 153 Avenue and 160 Avenue, but was reopened by 2:30 p.m.

A motorcyclist was killed in a collision with a bus in north Edmonton Thursday, April 20, 2017.

Morris Gamblin, Global News

A motorcyclist was killed in a collision with a bus in north Edmonton Thursday, April 20, 2017.

Morris Gamblin, Global News


Syria formally requests UN investigation into chemical attack

Syrian President Bashar Assad says the Syrian government has formally approached the United Nations, asking it to send in the experts to investigate the April 4 suspected chemical attack.

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Assad said in an interview with the Russian state-owned RIA Novosti news agency on Thursday that the U.N. has not sent anyone yet and blamed Western nations and the United States in particular for not allowing the experts to travel to Syria.

Bashar Assad dismisses Syria chemical attack as ‘100% fabrication’

Assad insisted that if the experts arrive, they will see that reports of what happened in the Idlib province “were all lies.”

Meanwhile, the Russian military is questioning the conclusions by the international chemical weapons watchdog that victims of the suspected chemical attack in Syria were exposed to sarin or a similar toxin.

WATCH: Syrian President Assad calls suspected chemical attack blamed on his government a “100% fabrication”

Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov issued a statement Thursday questioning how the samples were collected and how the analysis could have been done so quickly. He said he would like to receive answers to these questions as soon as possible.

Trudeau’s stance on Syria shows he is keen to stay in Trump’s favour: expert

Konashenko said only by carrying out an objective investigation on the spot can the truth be established about what happened in the Khan Sheikhun area of Syria’s southern Idlib province and who was responsible. The U.S. and many other nations have accused the Syrian government of responsibility.

Ahmet Uzumcu, director-general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, said Wednesday that the results “from four OPCW designated laboratories indicate exposure to sarin or a sarin-like substance.”


Marijuana will be legal, but for many activists the fight isn’t over

As large crowds of marijuana activists and enthusiasts gathered in cities across Canada on Thursday, the question lingering in the smoke-filled air was simple: what’s the point?

Marijuana is expected to be legalized across the land by July 2018, and legislation has already been tabled in the House of Commons to that effect. Supporters of the legal, recreational use of the drug have seemingly won the day.

But the fight, according to many, is far from over.

The annual rallies held on April 20 (or 4/20) will continue, organizers have promised, not least because the federal government’s approach to legalization still leaves much to be desired.

WATCH: Marc Emery calls Liberal ‘Trojan Horse’ pot legalization ‘prohibition 2.0’

“It’s not legislation, it’s prohibition,” said Alex Newcombe, an activist who uses marijuana to control anxiety. “The whole (bill) should be scrapped and start over.”

WATCH: Jodie Emery claims Trudeau is ‘lying’ to Canadians about marijuana legalization

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  • The highs and lows of pot legalization

  • Thousands expected to attend Toronto 4/20 marijuana rally at Yonge-Dundas Square

    Specifically, Newcombe said, as a regular user of pot he takes issue with an “arbitrary” planned limit of four plants per household, and the possession of 30 grams for personal use.

    “Thirty-one grams isn’t going to kill me any more than 30 … so there’s a complete lack of clarity,” he said.

    “An arbitrary limit of four plants? Really? What’s the fifth plant going to do? Is it going to harm somebody? I don’t get it.”

    READ MORE: Will your drinking habits change once pot becomes legal?

    Newcombe said he’d much rather see police and government resources devoted to tackling the ongoing opioid crisis, as well as the over-prescription of medications that can actually harm Canadians and are too often left within reach of children.

    WATCH: Is it safe to smoke marijuana while pregnant?

    There has also been push-back against the Liberal government’s refusal to decriminalize simple possession of marijuana until the law is in place, and against proposed criminal penalties. Those penalties include prison sentences of up to 14 years for providing the drug (in any form) to a minor.

    “As best I can read it … a parent who wants to teach their underage son or daughter how to use a drug responsibly and shares that drug with them, they could be liable to officially a penalty of up to 14 years,” confirmed Eugene Oscapella, a lawyer who teaches drug policy in the department of criminology at the University of Ottawa.

    Realistically, Oscapella cautioned, no judge is going to come down that hard.

    WATCH: Minister defends harsh proposed penalties linked to pot

    He agreed that there “is still a bit of reefer madness in parts of the bill” tabled last week, adding that the legislation will likely undergo significant changes before it’s passed.

    Among other things, it will be subject to intervention by lobbyists, committee hearings, passage through the Senate and possibly even pressures from the United States.

    “They’re treating cannabis in some of the prohibitions like it’s Ebola,” Oscapella said of the current version of the legislation.

    “I’m not an advocate for cannabis … but we don’t need to treat it like it’s the most dangerous substance on the planet.”

    WATCH: Cannabis legalization activists slam Liberal bill as ‘Prohibition 2.0’ ahead of annual gathering on Parliament Hill.

    On Parliament Hill, where the annual 4/20 rally attracted a crowd even under overcast skies, the mood was upbeat.

    “There’s like a party now, it’s a celebration,” said Madigan Routliffe, who sat on the lawn.

    READ MORE: How will marijuana be taxed? Legalization bill doesn’t say

    Nearby, Cody van Gogh (a last name he adopted) held a 94-gram “dragon joint,” actually shaped like the mythical creature.

    “It took about 50 hours,” van Gogh said of his pot sculpture, adding that he’s not in favour of the restrictive aspects of the new legislation.

    “They want to make weed uncool to any sort of new user. I don’t think that’s right … they’re going to prevent innovation.”

    – With files from Raquel Fletcher


Nova Scotia premier announces Halifax’s QEII hospital will get suburban outpost

A new outpatient centre for Halifax’s downtown QEII hospital is to be built amid the retail outlets of Bayers Lake in the city’s western suburbs.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia considering P3 model for QEII hospital replacement

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Premier Stephen McNeil unveiled the project Thursday at a 15-acre site he said the province purchased for $7.5 million as part of the redevelopment of aging QEII sites, including the trouble-plagued Victoria General (VG).

The facility will offer services including blood collection, x-rays, initial visits with specialists, and other services.

“I was an emergency nurse at the VG 25 years ago and we’ve acknowledged that building should have come down about 20 years ago,” Paula Bond, vice-president of integrated health services for the Nova Scotia Health Authority, told reporters.

The announcement was the latest in a series of hospital-related spending announcements from the McNeil government, which could call an election as early as this month. Bond said her praise of the government’s decision was non-partisan.

“I’m going to sing the praises of anybody who is going to help me move out of there,” she said.

READ MORE: N.S. awards planning contract for QEII hospital renovation plan

McNeil said access to Highways 102 and 103, which run very close to the site, was a key factor in choosing the spot, as well as population growth in the area.

Critics noted the lack of public transit access, which McNeil said he plans to discuss with the Halifax Regional Municipality. He also said roads will be extended into the property.

“There’s three or four different ways into this site,” he said to reporters after the announcement, held between Home Outfitters and Marshalls.

Fourteen other sites were considered, he said.

The land was purchased from a company owned by the Halef family, who have donated to the Liberal party, but McNeil said that had no influence on their decision.

“It had nothing to do with that,” McNeil said. “I’m not even sure who we bought the land from, to be frank.”

NDP Leader Gary Burrill said the location is inconvenient for people without a car, or who live across the harbour.

“This is being sited in such an incredibly improbable location,” he said to reporters.

Health Minister Leo Glavine was not present for the announcement, and McNeil said he wasn’t sure where his cabinet colleague was Thursday.


Curl Moncton hopes U18 Championship inspires more kids to curl

The first ever Canadian U18 Curling Championships is being held in Moncton this week, bringing in more than a dozen teams from across the country, and organizers are hoping the competition will have a long-lasting impact on the sport.

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READ MORE: Curl Moncton takes the lead on training young curlers

“We have been trying to get the schools out and we had two bus loads of kids come in this Thursday morning to cheer on New Brunswick against Quebec,” said Rick Perron from Curl Moncton, which is hosting the national competition.

Perron said the number of kids enrolled in curling has dropped right across the country in the last decade by as much as 20 per cent.  He believes there has been too much focus on grooming the young high performance athletes to go on to compete at the nationals or the world’s and not enough is being done to promote the sport to kids who just want to curl for fun.

“We also have to focus on grassroots because that it where those podium players come from and if we ignore that then we are going to be in trouble at some point,” he said.

Susie Leger, a curler and a volunteer at the tournament, said the competition gives those participating a chance to represent their communities.

“You have a lot of great curlings who are 15, 16 and 17 years old and this U18 gives them the chance to represent their province or their territory and to get that experience,” she said.

Leger added that she hopes the young non-curlers watching the youth competitors will be inspired to take up the sport and that the national tournament will create a “buzz” in the city about curling.

READ MORE: N.B. curler takes a sweep at setting new Guinness world record

The City of Moncton has put in a bit to host the Brier in 2019, which the city hasn’t done since 1985.

Perron said whether the city wins that bit depends very much on getting people excited enough about curling to buy their tickets in advance.

The tournament wraps up on Saturday and regardless of which team wins this weekend, organizers say the ultimate goal is to get young people pumped about the sport enough to try it out.


2017 summer movies preview: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2,’ ‘Alien: Covenant’ and many more

Ah, summer. The days of blistering hot temperatures, when you seek out any respite from the endless sweating and discomfort.

It turns out the movie theatre may be the best escape for the summer of 2017, judging by the movies coming out — and air-conditioning is a nice bonus.

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There are a few sequels, including Guardians of the Galaxy 2, which starts off the summer with a bang. War for the Planet of the Apes, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Transformers: The Last Knight are the next movies in their respective series, and the Minions are back for more in Despicable Me 3.

READ MORE: Princes William, Harry get candid with Kate Middleton about death of mom, Princess Diana

We’ll revisit some old favourites — Baywatch, for one, and Alien: Covenant, for another — and bear witness to butt-kicking women in Wonder Woman and Atomic Blonde.

All things considered, it looks like it’s going to be a great cinematic summer. Check out the top titles and movie trailers coming your way.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (May 5)

Easily one of the most anticipated movies of the year, you could say this summer’s movie lineup starts with a bang. Or at least a classic rock song. The comic-book-based space film promises to deliver the laughs, the action and perhaps even some romance its second time around. All we know is we can’t wait for more baby Groot. Because Groot.

Alien: Covenant (May 19)

Just when you manage to control your own personal Alien fear, the cinematic powers-that-be come out with a new iteration to reopen the wound, and this one looks particularly terrifying. After its predecessor, Prometheus (2012), received some less-than-kind reviews, it’s likely that this film will stick to the tried-and-true scares and amazing special effects.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (May 26)

This franchise has been going on for a while now, so it’s no surprise that Dead Men switches gears and seems to focus more on the villain (a super-creepy Javier Bardem) than our hero, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). Depp’s recent personal life events also haven’t helped the movie’s promotion, either, so it’s safe to guess that Disney is steering the ship (sorry) to calmer waters.

Baywatch (May 26)

We’re looking forward to this one strictly for the nostalgic value, but the various trailers released for this movie aren’t really clear on what its tone is. It looks like it’s a comedy (for the most part), where the lifeguards at this California beach will do anything to save their beach from developers. But how can you go wrong? The Rock, Zac Efron and a cameo by Pamela Anderson? See you at the beach!

READ MORE: Game of Thrones Season 7 photos: HBO releases batch of new images

Wonder Woman (June 2)

Anticipation is high for this superhero movie, since there hasn’t been a non-campy version of Wonder Woman since, well, ever. That’s not to diss Lynda Carter’s supreme Wonder Woman depiction back on the ’70s TV show, but this is the first time Diana Prince will be a serious character (outside of the comic books) on the big screen. Exploring Prince’s backstory (for example, she doesn’t have a father, she was “created” by Zeus) will be popcorn-munching goodness from start to finish.

The Mummy (June 9)

No, this isn’t the Brendan Fraser franchise from back in the day, this is a reboot in the guise of a Tom Cruise action film. You can expect the usual Cruiseian aspects: he somehow survives a fiery plane crash, spends a lot of time running full-tilt, and is ensured to have a sexy, much younger female sidekick (in this case, Annabelle Wallis, 23 years his junior). Speaking of age, Cruise looks like he’s found the fountain of youth. Here’s hoping this film doesn’t go the way of 2016’s Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, largely considered a massive flop.

All Eyez on Me (June 16)

Fresh off the success of 2015’s Straight Outta Compton, a look at the formation and genesis of rap group N.W.A., comes this movie about the life of late rapper Tupac Shakur. Respected worldwide as one of the best rap musicians to ever walk the planet, the film is a deep dive into Shakur’s brief, troubled existence, and his impact on the world of music. Excellent casting here, by the way, with newcomer Demetrius Shipp Jr. as Shakur. Talk about doppelgängers!

Cars 3 (June 16)

The beloved animated franchise is back for a third movie, and if you’ve seen either of the first two, you can probably guess the plot. Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) is being overshadowed and outperformed by a hotter, faster car, Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer), so he has to return home to reinvigorate himself with the help of his friends. Natch. Maybe not the most exciting film for adults, but kids eat this franchise up like candy.

READ MORE: Wrestling with Chyna: New documentary gives a look at WWE star’s final months

Transformers: The Last Knight (June 23)

Starring a long-haired Mark Wahlberg (who also falls under that “ageless” category) and 16-year-old Isabela Moner, the latest Transformers movie on offer is a bit of a question mark. Revolving around the disappearance and return (?) of Optimus Prime, long considered the “biggest” Transformer, the film’s plot is murky. With Michael Bay at the helm, we can expect a lot of explosions and action, which will work to distract us from the empty — and most likely predictable — story.

Despicable Me 3 (June 30)

As the little yellow Minions have succeeded in taking over the kids’ toy industry, so too have they taken over kids’ cinema. Like the Smurfs, Chipmunks and the Care Bears in their time, the Minions are lovable, silly and a joy to watch, even if you can’t understand what they’re saying most of the time. The beauty of the Despicable Me films is their humour: way over the heads of children, adults can quell boredom by laughing along with the jokes, which are clearly there for that exact purpose. In this third movie of the franchise, Gru’s irrepressible brother, Dru (also voiced by Steve Carell), comes on the scene to mess everything up.

The Beguiled (June 30)

Not your typical summer fare, Cannes selection The Beguiled looks to be part thriller and part drama, revolving around a mysterious girls’ school in Virginia during the Civil War. When injured Union soldier John McBurney (Colin Farrell) stumbles upon the school, everything goes awry and things get ugly. The women at the school (Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning, among others) do battle over Farrell’s character, both sexually and literally, judging by the amount of blood splashed on Kidman’s petticoats in the trailer.

READ MORE: Why Melissa Etheridge is crushing on cannabis, Canada and Trudeau: ‘I love what he stands for, what you all stand for’

Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 7)

You might get a serious case of déjà vu watching the trailer for the latest Spider-Man film — its plot is achingly similar to the last Andrew Garfield iteration (and the one before it and the one before that), and quite simply, the studio should have given the franchise some off-screen time before rolling another one out. Well, too late now! Tom Holland takes over the role of Peter Parker/Spidey, and once again, we’ll see how his teenage angst and desire impacts his superhero life, and vice-versa.

War for the Planet of the Apes (July 14)

There sure are a lot of sequels this summer, aren’t there? A mere three years after Dawn of the Planet of the Apes roared into the box office, the studio is returning with this follow-up, which features yet another human vs. apes war. At the helm is Woody Harrelson, who admittedly looks strange with camo on his face, brandishing an automatic machine gun. King of performance-capture, Andy Serkis, reprises his role as Caesar, the talking ape.

Dunkirk (July 21)

In the spirit of other war films like Saving Private Ryan, Dunkirk is a visceral, heart-pounding look at the so-called Dunkirk beach evacuation that took place during the Second World War. Surrounded by German troops on the beach, the Allies (among them Canadian, British, Belgian and French soldiers) are evacuated in Operation Dynamo, trying to escape to their homes — and for their lives. Directed by Dark Knight mastermind Christopher Nolan, expect darkness, outstanding special effects (it’s shot in IMAX) and a harrowing journey into war.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (July 21)

Based on the graphic novel of the same name, this sci-fi/fantasy/space movie is directed by Luc Besson, who brought us past classics like The Fifth Element, La Femme Nikita and Lucy. If we can expect anything from Besson, it’ll be colourful aliens, eye-popping visuals and engaging stories. Dane DeHaan, respected in the industry as a high-brow actor, seems to be having the time of his life as Valerian. Joined by relative newcomer, model-turned-actor Cara Delevingne, the lead pair is refreshing and interesting. Now all the plot has to do is hold up.

READ MORE: Stephen Colbert tries to predict what Bill O’Reilly will do next

Atomic Blonde (July 28)

Charlize Theron, kicking a** and taking names. After her terrific action-y turn in Mad Max: Fury Road, movie audiences are thirsting for more, and studios aren’t stupid. Not much has been given away in terms of Atomic Blonde‘s plot, aside from Theron shooting and fighting with every person who crosses her path. A thrill a minute, audiences will be panting for air if the entire film runs at this pace. Bonus points for the addition of John Goodman to the cast.

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (July 28)

Al Gore’s follow-up to the mind-blowing An Inconvenient Truth, this sequel is even more urgent in its storytelling. Buoyed by getting many predictions right in his first film, Gore is absolutely on the warpath now. He is declaring all-out war on climate change and presents more scary statistics and environmental info for our acceptance or denial. He insists we’re running out of time to save our planet, “our only home,” and pleads with us to make changes or face the unpleasant consequences. It’s not every day a documentary trailer gives us goosebumps, but here we are.

Detroit (Aug. 4)

Racial tension is escalating in the U.S. at the moment, so what better time to document the Detroit riots of 1967 on the big screen? Star-on-the-rise John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) plays a cop in the volatile urban environment, and lines are drawn between police and civilians as well as black and white citizens. A disturbing chapter in America’s history, it serves as an informative backdrop (and possible catalyst) for the current situation south of the border.

The Dark Tower (Aug. 4)

The Dark Tower is a series of eight books written by horror master Stephen King, and to say this movie is one of the hot tickets of the summer is an understatement. Starring Idris Elba as main character Roland Deschain/The Gunslinger, the movie will be unique in that it explores multiple genres — sci-fi, horror (obviously), fantasy and believe it or not, Western. Deschain spends the film searching for the “man in black” (played here by Matthew McConaughey) and for the Dark Tower, which may hold the key to saving the world.

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Donald Trump again attacks Canada’s dairy industry, calls NAFTA a ‘trading disaster’

U.S. President Donald Trump again attacked Canada’s dairy industry Thursday while calling the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) a “disaster for our country.”

Trump’s comments regarding Canada came shortly after he launched an investigation into whether foreign steel arriving in the U.S. threatens national security.

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The president then broke from a prepared statement to attack Canada’s dairy, energy and lumber industries.

READ MORE: Why did Donald Trump attack the Canadian dairy industry?

“I wasn’t going to do this, but I was in Wisconsin the other day…Canada, what they’ve done to our dairy farm workers is a disgrace, it’s a disgrace,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “I spent time with some of the farmers in Wisconsin and as you know rules, regulations, different things have changed and our farmers in Wisconsin and in New York State are being put out of business, our dairy farmers.”

WATCH:  Jackson Proskow reports on what’s behind the U.S. president’s surprisingly harsh language.

Trump went on to suggest similar things are happening along the “northern border states with Canada, having to do with lumber and timber.”

“The fact is NAFTA, whether it’s Mexico or Canada, is a disaster for our country,” Trump said. “It’s a disaster. It’s a trading disaster.”

Trump’s latest comments were more extensive than his complaints earlier this week in Wisconsin about Canadian dairy regulations.

WATCH: Justin Trudeau responds to Trump’s attack on Canada’s dairy industry

It’s a sign that Trump might be pushing for more extensive changes in the trading relationship with Canada than he has signalled previously, when he spoke merely of tweaking it.

Trump says he’ll have more to say about upcoming NAFTA negotiations within a couple of weeks.

Trump initially launched the attack on the dairy industry Tuesday in an attempt to push his America First agenda by unveiling his “Buy American-Hire American” executive order.

READ MORE: Donald Trump takes aim at Canada’s dairy industry

“What’s happened to you is very unfair,” Trump said Tuesday. “It’s another very typical one-sided deal against the United States and its not going to be happening for very long.”

“Dairy trade between Canada and the U.S. massively favours the U.S., by a ratio of five to one,” said a statement released Thursday by foreign affairs minister Chrystia Freeland. “Canada is the second-largest export market for U.S. dairy products, surpassed only by Mexico.”

“With respect to softwood lumber, our producers and workers have never been found in the wrong. The softwood industry supports thousands of jobs in both countries and has downstream benefits in communities across the continent.”

“Nothing is more essential to the U.S. economy than access to a secure and reliable source of energy. Canada is that source, providing the United States with 43 percent of its imported crude oil.”

The apparent growing trade dispute between the two countries stems from ultra-filtered milk, a product which allows for greater efficiency in cheese-making.

American farmers were sending their ultra-filtered milk to Canada without being subject to tariffs, Ontario dairy farmers agreed last year to sell ultra-filtered milk to Canadian processors at prices competitive with international rates. Other provinces soon followed suit.

Most dairy products sent to Canada are subject to heavy tariffs.

WATCH: PM Trudeau discusses what he has learned about Trump since presidency

However, ultra-filtered milk from the U.S. wasn’t subject to those tariffs because it came into use after NAFTA was approved in 1994.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke Thursday about Trump’s earlier attack on the dairy industry saying trade doesn’t always benefit everyone.

“As we approach trade, we have to make the arguments for it, we have to reassure people that we are being fair and responsible about trade and that there is ways to include everyone in the benefits of trade,” Trudeau said in an interview with Bloomberg news agency. “Whether it’s small, medium sized business, whether it’s agricultural producers. Any conversation around that starts with recognizing the facts.

READ MORE: With new executive order, Trump could weaken NAFTA before he ‘tweaks’ it

“The U.S. has a $400 million dairy surplus with Canada, so it’s not Canada that is the challenge here and the way we approach our very constructive relationship with the United States on trade and on other thing is to base both around the facts of the issues and a shared desire to see citizens on both sides of our border succeed,” Trudeau said.

The prime minister noted that NAFTA creates millions of good jobs in both countries.

“We’re not going to overreact, we’re going to lay out the facts and we are going to have substantive conversations about how to improve the benefits for citizens on both sides of our borders,” Trudeau said.

with a file from Global News reporter Kevin Nielsen and the Canadian Press


‘Wrestling with Chyna’: New documentary gives a look at WWE star’s final months

In the first trailer for Wrestling with Chyna, a documentary that chronicles the final few months of Joanie “Chyna” Laurer’s life, the star gets candid about the moments that led to her death.

The former WWE star, who in the 1990s became one of the best-known and most popular female professional wrestlers in history, died on April 21, 2016.

The footage from the trailer shows Laurer speaking about her drug abuse, fame and the personal demons that led her to her shocking death.

READ MORE: Chyna died of an accidental drug overdose, manager says

“I’m Chyna, I’m a champion,” she says in the trailer. “I went from a billion dollar commodity to on the street.”

WATCH BELOW: Former WWE wrestling star Chyna dies at 46

HangZhou Night Net

Laurer, who died from a mixture of alcohol and prescription drugs at age 46, recorded the footage last year.

She addresses the abuse of prescription drugs, telling the cameras, “This is just a f*cked up business. If I need one Valium, I take one Valium. If I need three…”

The tall, muscle-bound, raven-haired Laurer billed herself as the “9th Wonder of the World” because her wrestling predecessor Andre the Giant had already called himself the eighth.

READ MORE: Former WWE wrestling star Chyna dies at 46

She was a member of the wrestling squad that dubbed itself “D-Generation X,” often wrestled against men and at one point was the WWE women’s champion.

After her time in the ring, she posed for Playboy and appeared on The Surreal Life, which documented her struggle with alcohol abuse.

Erik Angra, a friend and the documentary’s filmmaker described the late wrestler as “so warm [and] so loving” and called her a “feminist icon.”

He told People magazine that when they first started the documentary, he had no idea the extent of her substance abuse.

“It seemed like she was getting better, but then every once in a while there would be concerning moments,” he admitted. “In the final months, we flew to Miami to visit her father’s grave, we were trying to deal with some of the underlying issues that she was having.”

READ MORE: WWE WrestleMania 33 stage catches fire after Undertaker’s exit

“She started to drink, and holed up in her apartment and was pretending everything was fine. But the phone calls she was making to me were very worrisome,” Angra said, adding, “Sometimes I feel really guilty.”

According to the Los Angeles County Coroner, Laurer had ingested painkillers oxycodone and oxymorphone, Valium, nordiazepam (a muscle relaxant) and temazepam (a sleeping aide), prior to her death.

WATCH BELOW: WWE star John Cena surprises young fan with cerebral palsy in heartwarming video

Anthony Anzaldo, Laurer’s former manager, spoke to People about the upcoming documentary.

“It’s her facing a lot of her own emotions and issues. So it was getting a little bit intense for her and she probably was just inadvertently taking her meds a little bit inappropriately. Once we found out that was happening, we knew that there was a problem, and four days later she was gone,” he said.

Angra hopes the documentary will help fans “remember [Chyna] for her strength and for what she represented for a lot of women that didn’t have the voice.”

Angra and the film’s executive producer, Rob Potylo, hope to release Wrestling with Chyna in the fall of 2017.

—With files from The Associated Press

Follow @KatieScottNews