Archive for November 2018

One California resident will be watching Sunday’s Academy Awards a long way from his roots in Humboldt, Sask.

Andrew Ford is a Disney character animator, contributing to Zootopia, which is nominated for top honours in the animated feature film category at the Oscars.

ChangSha Night Net


  • Lloydminster area man helps finance Denzel Washington film ‘Fences’

    READ MORE: Oscars 2017 predictions: Picks for this year’s Academy Award winners

    “It is nice knowing that these movies are connecting with people in a way, and I think those awards kind of show that,” Ford told Global News.

    “Plus for the next day, it’s always a celebratory atmosphere at work.”

    This year’s Golden Globes gave Ford and his co-workers reason to celebrate after Zootopia took home the award for best animated feature.

    “I certainly can’t say I won a Golden Globe. I’m part of a team that did,” Ford said.

    He also contributed animation to the Pacific adventure movie Moana, which is nominated for two Oscars.

    READ MORE: Corrine Koslo to voice Emma Leroy in ‘Corner Gas’ animated series

    The graduate of the University of Saskatchewan, University of Alberta and Emily Carr University of Art and Design has had a lifelong passion for animation.

    He was also a university athlete.

    “It was a slower process with him. He loved the sports so much. He loved football,” said Ford’s mother, Carol McLaren.

    After shadowing a family friend, Winnipeg animator Cordell Barker, creator of the National Film Board’s Cat Came Back, Ford settled on his career choice.

    “He just thought, ‘This is what I’d like to do,’” McLaren said.

    The Oscars also have another Saskatchewan connection this year: Best picture nominee Hell or High Water features a song from Swift Current-raised artist Colter Wall.

    WATCH BELOW: Colter Wall performs his song ‘The Devil wears a Suit and Tie’

    The Roxy Theatre in Saskatoon is planning to show a live broadcast of the Oscars Sunday evening. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. CT and admission is free.

SAN DIEGO – U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Friday that it plans to start awarding contracts by mid-April for President Donald Trump‘s proposed border wall with Mexico, signalling that he is aggressively pursuing plans to erect “a great wall” along the 2,000-mile border.

The agency said it will request bids on or around March 6 and that companies would have to submit “concept papers” to design and build prototypes by March 10, according to a website for federal contractors. The field of candidates will be narrowed by March 20 and finalists must submit offers with their proposed costs by March 24.

READ MORE: Donald Trump says he will bring down the price of wall on Mexico’s border

The president told the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday that construction will start “very soon” and is “way, way, way ahead of schedule.”

The agency’s notice gave no details on where the wall would be built first and how many miles would be covered initially. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has sought employees’ opinions during border tours of California, Arizona and Texas.

READ MORE: Donald Trump sends top aides to Mexico on fence-mending mission

It’s unclear how soon Congress would provide funding and how much. The Government Accountability Office estimates a wall would cost on average $6.5 million a mile for a fence to keep out people who try to enter on foot and $1.8 million a mile for vehicle barriers. There are currently 354 miles of pedestrian fencing and 300 miles of vehicle barriers.

Republican leaders in Congress have said Trump’s wall would cost between $12 billion and $15 billion. Trump has suggested $12 billion.

An internal Homeland Security Department report prepared for Kelly estimates the cost of extending the wall along the entire U.S.-Mexico border at about $21 billion.

ChangSha Night Net

 LOS ANGELES (Variety长沙桑拿) – The greatest suspense surrounding Sunday’s Academy Awards may surround questions of not “if” but “when.” When will the traffic backups near Hollywood Boulevard begin? When will “La La Land” win its first Oscar? When will the first statuette-holder unload on President Trump?

The 89th edition of Hollywood’s most important celebration comes during a time of unusual political turmoil and stark challenges for the entertainment industry. For one, the bulk of ticket sales are going to fewer films, the blockbuster sort that almost never get awarded on Oscar night.

For the second straight year, Hollywood Boulevard in front of the Dolby Theatre will be tented. While last year’s spring-like temperatures made the covering merely cosmetic, this year’s expected sub-60-degree temperatures and and possibly drizzling conditions will make the roof a welcome addition.

READ MORE: Oscars 2017 predictions: Picks for this year’s Academy Award winners

Before they get to the red carpet, the 3,300 guests will have to make their way through a three-tiered security perimeter. Though the LAPD won’t say this year how many officers they have deployed for the event, it is expected to be about 500, the number that secured the awards zone in 2016.

Cmdr. Blake Chow, overseeing the security operation for the LAPD, said that the department has gamed out multiple scenarios and is ready. “We have planned for all contingencies, from protests to even a potential terrorist attack and that is all built into the security plan, which is built on concentric rings of security,” Chow said.

The department’s Major Crimes Division and Intelligence Division have been on the lookout for threats against the Oscars and had not detected any as the weekend approached, Chow said.

The city has expects at least two groups to hold demonstrations on Sunday. One will be just north of the security zone and the other just south of the zone – at Highland Avenue and Franklin Avenue and Highland Avenue and Sunset Boulevard, respectively.

READ MORE: Emmys attendees must be vigilant after New York explosion: LAPD

The Sunset and Highland gathering beginning at 2 p.m. is organized by Project Islamic Hope and Najee Ali. About 100 demonstrators plan to gather at the northeast corner of the intersection, according to a permit application filed with the city.

Organizer Ali said that his group will be speaking out about the need for Hollywood‘s studios to continue to diversify the makeup of the people who appear in front of the camera as well as behind the scenes. Ali said that multiple Oscar nominations for African-Americans this year did not correct the lack of recognition, and job opportunities, for Latinos, Asians and members of other minority groups.

“There is a black-white narrative that ignores all the others who are not represented,” Ali said. He also noted that one year of strong nomination showing for blacks did not mean they would find more jobs, or more awards recognition, in the years to come.

READ MORE: The Academy apologizes to Asians for Oscars joke, diversifies its board

The second event, at the northwest corner of Highland and Franklin, is billed as a “”Pro-Trump Celebration” and expects about two dozen participants. The organizer is a woman from Hawaiian Gardens.

The social/political dynamic also should be lively inside the Dolby. After the homogeneous 2016 nominations led to the #OscarsSoWhite protests, a half dozen black actors have received nominations this year. Now eyes will be on the outcomes to see how many of them win. The surge in black nominees did not eliminate the under-representation among many other groups – including women, Latinos and Asians. That also could become a topic on the Dolby stage.

But the surest bet for Sunday evening is that someone —; or several someones, will speak out against Trump. The show comes at the end of an awards season in which the new president has been a frequent punching bag.

READ MORE: Jimmy Kimmel to host the 2017 Oscars

Meryl Streep helped set the tone with a Golden Globes speech that hit Trump for his mocking of a disabled New York Times reporter. Streep is nominated for an Oscar for lead actress in “Florence Foster Jenkins,” so she could get another shot at the president —; though it’s unlikely the evening will make it to the big awards without someone speaking out earlier.

That’s not to say that all of the worldwide audience for the show, which host Jimmy Kimmel will kick off at 5:30 p.m., Pacific Time, will be welcoming beatdowns of the president. A campaign has been launched on social media to boycott the Academy Awards ceremony, to protest what one activist called the “arrogant hypocrites” in the industry, who slam Trump and his supporters. These protesters say they represent half of America and resent being stereotyped “as racist, sexist, and bigoted for voicing our political choice through Donald Trump.”

ChangSha Night Net

Four cases of mumps have been confirmed at the University of Alberta campus in Edmonton.

The university said Friday it has notified staff, faculty and students of the situation. Kevin Friese, assistant dean of students in health and wellness at the U of A, said all four students are enrolled in the School of Business.

ChangSha Night Net


  • Toronto mumps outbreak linked to west-end bars spreads to more patients

  • Five Vancouver Canucks players show symptoms of mumps

    “We have determined they are linked cases. As far as we know they’re the only cases at the University of Alberta at the present time,” Friese said Friday afternoon. “These cases were made aware to us just two days ago and we began to work with Alberta Health Services yesterday.

    “They’re resting and receiving support from Alberta Health Services. At the present time there’s no specific information that we’ve received from Alberta Health Services that they need to be quarantined or segregated. But certainly it is important that they are resting up, creating a little bit of distance for themselves.”

    Mumps is a contagious viral infection that can cause painful swelling of the salivary glands.

    It usually goes away in about 10 days, but, in some cases, it can cause complications that affect the brain, the testicles, the ovaries, or the pancreas.

    READ MORE: Here is everything you to need to know about mumps

    Watch below: Four cases of mumps have been confirmed on the University of Alberta campus. Sarah Kraus has the details.

    The advisory at the U of A came after nine cases of mumps were reported in southern Alberta earlier this week, after exposure to the virus from some players for the Medicine Hat Tigers, a team in the Western Hockey League.

    On Friday afternoon, the Vancouver Canucks said several players had also presented with symptoms of mumps.

    READ MORE: Western Hockey League tries to minimize spread of mumps as AHS warns of outbreak

    Dr. Joanna Oda, a medical officer of health with AHS, said so far this year, Alberta has seen 17 cases of mumps, nine of which are related to the outbreak in the southern region of the province.

    Last year, there were eight cases of mumps in Alberta and in 2015 there were four.

    “We are seeing a distinct increase in the number of cases this particular year,” Oda said.

    Oda said it does not appear the four cases of mumps at the U of A are linked to the cases in southern Alberta.

    Mumps is primarily spread through contact with infected saliva, Oda said. People are encouraged to wash their hands and avoid sharing things like cups, water bottles and utensils, particularly in close settings such as a university.

    “Any time you’ve got large populated areas, thinking in particular about things like communal living spaces, we want to ensure that people are taking the appropriate precautions to not share items that might cause the spread of virus,” Friese said.

    “It’s a gathering place of young people and there’s lots of saliva sharing in a university,” Oda added.

    Watch below: What is mumps? How is it spread? How can people protect themselves? Dr. Joanna Oda with AHS explains. 

    Students, staff and faculty members are urged to check their vaccination status to ensure their vaccinations are up to date. Anyone who is unsure of their vaccination status can call Health Link at 811.

    The Edmonton Catholic School Board sent home information about mumps to parents Friday as a precaution. As of Friday evening, the school district said it had not seen any cases of mumps.

    Follow @CaleyRamsay

Ontario Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault has issued a mea culpa on the way the Liberal government implemented its Green Energy plan.

Thibeault says the implementation of the Green Energy Act has led to “sub-optimal outcomes” for consumers and to increased prices in electricity for families and businesses in Ontario.

ChangSha Night Net

In a speech delivered Friday to the Economic Club of Canada, the energy minister indicated that Ontario’s Feed-in-Tariff program, or FIT, has resulted in over-manipulation of the province’s energy sector and to the removal of competitive incentives for energy producers.

“At its core, Ontario’s renewable energy procurements were absolutely the right policy,” Thibeault said. “However, it was the ‘how’ and not the ‘what’ that drove price considerations. How we implemented those policies led to a number of sub-optimal outcomes.”

WATCH: After midnight ultimatum, energy minister forced to bring in legislation banning winter disconnects

Referring to the FIT program, which awards energy producers long-term contracts with rates as high as 40-times the fair market value of electricity, Thibeault said the government’s implementation of its own renewable energy strategy is at least partly to blame for the rising cost of electricity in Ontario.

READ MORE: Ontario Energy Board orders utility companies to reconnect all customers

“This made sense at the time,” said Thibeault, referring to contracts with fixed-prices at above market rates. “We drove significant investment in the province. [But] we now know that competitive tension within and among renewable energy developers could lead to much more attractive pricing. As they say, hindsight is 20-20.”

In other words, the policy itself was good – phasing-out coal and investing in new infrastructure – but exactly how the government went about achieving its green energy goals was not.

WATCH: Toronto senior living winter without hydro. Sean O’Shea reports.

In the future, Thibeault says the government must move away from setting targets for specific types of energy – such as wind, solar, hydro and nuclear – and should instead focus on implementing a system in which energy producers compete for electricity contracts – regardless of what type of energy they produce.

“It is essential that we begin to move towards more technology-agnostic procurements,” Thibeault said. “We must unleash the electricity sector and our system operator to find the appropriate mix to fulfil a capacity auction that would ensure ratepayers receive the best prices possible.”

What this seems to indicate is that the government no longer intends to favour one type of energy production over another, but will instead implement a competitive bidding process, or an auction-based approach, that will drive future energy procurements in Ontario – something other jurisdictions, like Alberta, have indicated they will do when phasing-out coal.

READ MORE: Ontario pulls the plug on winter disconnections

Interestingly, a section not included in Thibeault’s speech, but contained in an earlier emailed version, seems to indicate that the ministry is also aware of concerns over where in the province certain renewable energy projects were constructed.

“Government values the clean, green, renewable energy sector and the contribution that firms have made to our domestic economy and job creation. But allocating the precise mix of technology types has largely been arbitrary and led to sub-optimal siting, uncompetitive prices, and heightened community concern.”

The Feed-in-Tariff program

Ontario’s FIT program was launched in 2009 as a way of procuring renewable wind, solar, hydro and biomass energy. The program’s primary objective was, and still is, to replace coal-powered electricity.

The Independent Electricity System Operator, or IESO, signed long-term contracts with energy producers that guaranteed rates well above fair market value for the length of the contract. Wind, solar and biomass producer were given 20-year contracts, while hydro producers were given 40-year contracts.

Projects approved under the FIT program range in size from large-scale solar and wind farms, like the $7-billion deal with Samsung for solar energy, to small-scale operations such as anyone with a solar panel on their roof or in their backyard.

READ MORE: How much have hydro bills in Ontario really gone up?

The prices the government sets for these contracts are arbitrary. In some cases, like solar projects with less than 10 kilowatts capacity, initial prices in 2009 were as high as 80.2 cents per kilowatt-hour – or about 40 times the actual market value of electricity.

WATCH: A Mississauga electrical company paid the bill for a Toronto senior, paving the way to get his electricity turned on

For large-scale solar producers, any project above 100 kilowatts capacity, initial prices ranged from 44.3 – 63.5 cents per kilowatt-hour depending on the type of installation – or roughly 20 to 30 times the market value of electricity.

At no time did the government enter into a competitive bidding process for FIT contracts. Not all FIT applications were approved, but once a contract was signed, energy producers were guaranteed a fixed price for the duration of the deal.

Following a review of the FIT program in 2012, the government reduced prices significantly. For example, prices awarded for large and small-scale solar projects were cut in half.

READ MORE: Brantford Power under investigation by the Ontario Energy Board

By January 2017, less than eight years after the initial launch of the FIT program and roughly 12 years away from the first contracts expiring, the government had reduced the prices paid for solar projects by roughly 65 per cent.

For example, rooftop solar projects approved in 2009 or 2010 with a capacity of 500 kilowatts received 63.5 per kilowatt-hour for the duration of the contract. In 2017, this same size project receives a rate of 20.7 cent per kilowatt-hour – a reduction of 67 per cent.

One of the pillars of the Liberal’s Green Energy Act was a buy-local provision. The purpose was to spur economic growth within Ontario’s energy manufacturing sector and make the province a leader in renewable energy innovation.

WATCH: Hydro customer threatened with disconnection after missing 1 payment. Sean O’Shea reports.

But in 2012, the World Trade Organization struck down these provisions after a complaint by Japan, the U.S. and the European Union. The government appealed the decision, but this move was denied, forcing the government to change the buy-local provisions.

According to the Ministry of Energy, the Green Energy Act and the FIT program have created more than 20,000 jobs in Ontario.  They say the program has resulted in more than $20 billion of investment in the province and supplied enough electricity to power roughly 1.8 million homes.

Halifax Regional Council has officially signed off on 15 transit projects aimed at improving public transportation in the region.

READ MORE: Advocacy group calls for designated bus lanes, accessible transit in Halifax

ChangSha Night Net

Groundwork for the investment was laid out in spring 2016 after Ottawa announced it would be contributing money from its “Public Transit Infrastructure Fund” to all provincially-led initiatives.

“The federal investment, the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund, is a really exciting investment for us. It does mean that we’re able to do a lot more than we could have before,” said Patricia Hughes, Halifax Transit’s planning and scheduling manager.

In total, the 15 projects will cost around $58 million, $30 million of which will be spent on conventional transit bus replacement.

“We had hoped to replace about 30 this year, but with the federal funding we’re up to about 59,” Hughes said.

While new buses are needed, some transit advocates believe more money should be invested in bus rapid transit – a service said to perform with higher frequency and reliability than conventional services.

READ MORE: Halifax Transit plan inches forward, looks into hiring consultant

“A lot of routes right now run at 30-minute or sometimes even 60-minute frequency, if we really want to see an increase in ridership that has to get down to about 15 minutes or better,” said Jeffrey Blair, a member of “It’s More Than Buses”, a citizen-led transit advocacy group in Halifax.

Hughes said bus rapid transit is on the radar and $200,000 is being invested into studying its feasibility.

“[There’s] a number of projects relating to transit priority measures. So, actually implementing transit queue jump lanes and also studying them, looking for other opportunities for bus rapid transit and ways to make transit more reliable and move ahead of the congestion,” she said.

The latest census shows the fastest growing communities are outside the peninsula but Councillor Matt Whitman says transit expansion isn’t growing to meet the needs of the population boom.

“Hammonds Plains, Tantallon is growing very quickly. We have very limited transit; we have commuter transit in the morning. Our express route to downtown is standing room only, it’s overflowing,” Whitman said.

READ MORE: Halifax suburbs see fast growth from development boom: planner

The majority of the projects focus on fleet replacement and infrastructure upgrades, but planning expert Ahsan Habib believes that money would be better spent on expanding the transit network.

READ MORE: Halifax seeks public input surrounding transportation priorities

“We need bold action, more faster, reliable service, service expansion, for example bus rapid transit or the rail corridor, Bedford to Halifax or Fall River to Halifax.

“So, we haven’t see that type of transformative transit for Halifax planned or implemented yet.”

The Trump administration has directed NASA to study whether it is feasible to fly astronauts on the debut flight of the agency’s heavy-lift rocket, a mission currently planned to be unmanned and targeted to launch in late 2018, officials said on Friday.

The study marks President Donald Trump‘s first step in shaping a vision for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

ChangSha Night Net

Under former President Barack Obama, the U.S. space agency was working on the heavy-lift Space Launch System rocket and Orion deep-space capsule with the aim of sending astronauts to rendezvous with an asteroid in the mid-2020s, followed by a human expedition to Mars in the 2030s.

READ MORE: Donald Trump to push NASA toward the moon, away from climate change: report

The request for the study from the new Republican president’s administration tweaks that plan by exploring whether to add a crew to an earlier test flight and perhaps setting the stage for a human return to the moon.

NASA officials said they do not feel compelled to fly the test mission with crew aboard, Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA’s head of human space flight, told reporters on a conference call.

“There’s not pressure to go do this,” Gerstenmaier said. “I find it encouraging that we were asked to go do this feasibility study.”

WATCH: Leaked White House documents reveal Donald Trump wants NASA to return to the moon

The study is expected to take about a month. Engineers are assessing hardware changes, schedule delays, additional costs and increased risks of flying a two-member crew on the first flight of the Space Launch System rocket, which is about four times bigger and more powerful than any current U.S. booster.

A NASA safety oversight panel on Thursday cautioned that the agency should have compelling reasons for adding crew to justify the extra cost, risk to human life and schedule delays. “If the benefits warrant assumption of additional risk, we expect NASA to clearly and openly articulate their decision-processing rationale,” Patricia Sanders, head of the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, said at a meeting at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

READ MORE: ‘Space poop challenge’ nets doctor $15K NASA prize

If approved, the astronauts would fly aboard an Orion capsule, under development by Lockheed Martin Corp, and swing around the moon during an eight- to nine-day mission, similar to what the Apollo 8 crew accomplished in 1968.

Gerstenmaier said adding crew to the mission would not be worthwhile if it forced the flight to be delayed more than about a year.

The rocket’s second flight, which is to include crew, is targeted for August 2021. The study will explore what would be gained technically by having a crew aboard sooner.

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Add this to the long list of problems caused by buzzing drones: Frightening 1,500 elk into stampeding at a time of year when too much stress can be deadly for the animals.

This winter already is one for the books in western Wyoming. More than twice as much snowfall than usual has fallen in many areas, and more than 3 feet has accumulated at the National Elk Refuge in the scenic valley of Jackson Hole.

ChangSha Night Net

Typically the National Elk Refuge provides a winter haven for elk. But on Monday, David A. Smart, 45, of Washington, D.C., got a $280 ticket for allegedly launching a drone from a highway pullout and flying it over hundreds of elk resting there.

READ MORE: Caught on camera: Police dashcam captures sudden collision with elk

The device caused the elk to stampede half a mile through the snow. Smart was trying to film the animals and afterward was apologetic, refuge deputy manager Cris Dippel said Friday.

Nonetheless, wildlife managers take animal harassment seriously. The federal crime of which Smart was accused, disturbing wildlife, is punishable by an up to $5,000 fine.

The deep snow is a bane for animals, including bison hit by vehicles as they sought easier walking along plowed roads.

READ MORE: Cow elk shot; resident says aboriginal hunters were trespassing

Elk, moose, mule deer and antelope fatten up during green months so when winter hits they can subsist on less-nourishing forage often covered up by snow and ice.

“It’s a crucial time of year for those animals and they don’t need to be burning up additional energy stores unnecessarily,” said Doug Brimeyer, deputy wildlife division chief at the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

Wyoming has several laws and regulations against harassing wildlife, including one that prohibits antler collecting during winter and part of the spring. Bull elk drop their antlers during late winter and early spring and too many avid antler collectors scaring elk with their snowmobiles prompted that state regulation in 2009.

READ MORE: Calgary drone captures osprey eating dinner on a power pole

At the refuge, wildlife managers put out alfalfa pellets and other feed to help elk and bison survive the winter, a practice environmentalists worry could encourage disease.

Chronic wasting disease, a contagious neurological disease that causes elk and deer to lose weight and eventually die, has been slowly spreading into western Wyoming over the years.

“The concern is if it is found on those feedgrounds, it could be exacerbated by the elk concentrated in those areas,” said Chris Colligan with the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. “It’s slowly creeping toward our fed elk populations.”

The state operates 22 other elk feedgrounds in western Wyoming. They serve to keep elk numbers up not just for the animals’ sake but for the benefit of hunters and the millions of tourists who flock to the region every summer.

“Anything we can do to afford those animals an edge to help them survive is pretty critical,” said Brimeyer.

There’s no question, smoking is bad for your health. Now, the question is where should people be able to smoke in Regina.

In December city council voted unanimously to hold a public consultation on how the smoking bylaw should change, and now that consultation period is starting.

“We want to consult with residents and business owners and community partners to make sure we get this right,” Mayor Michael Fougere said.

ChangSha Night Net

Currently smoking isn’t allowed inside the fence of public pools, athletic fields, and within 10 metres of the entrance of city buildings. Some bars and restaurants like O’Hanlon’s have already banned smoking on their patios.

The proposed ban could see that rule extend to all patios, parks, and other public spaces like the new stadium.

READ MORE: Regina considers smoke-free patios and some outdoor spaces

The city has launched a survey on their website to gather public input on how they would like to see the smoking bylaw change. The deadline to complete the survey is March 16.

There will also be two consultation meetings. The first takes place on March 8 at City Hall and is tailored to business owners. A meeting for residents will be held at the Cathedral Community Centre on March 9. Both meetings start at 5:30 p.m.

The city is also looking to gather input on whether or not they should include things like vaping and e-cigarettes in the smoking bylaw.

Mike Smider is the co-owner of Queen City Vapes, and plans on attending the business focused consultation.

Mike Smider and his business partner unpack a shipment of e-juices at Queen City Vapes.

Kael Donnelly/Global News

“I’ve been told that they’re a little bit concerned about second hand vapor, which doesn’t exist. It’s not like smoke, it’s a vapor. It’s molecules of mostly water and glycerin,” Smider said.

“There’s nothing harmful in the exhaled vapor like there is with smoke.”

Smider plans to present studies from groups like Public Health England that say vaping is 95 per cent less harmful than smoking.

He added that many of his customers have used vaping as a way to quit smoking.

“My business partner introduced me to vaping, and this is the only thing that’s kept me away from cigarettes,” Smider said.

Before this, Smider smoked for 15 years.

Regina residents Global News spoke with seem to be in favour of tougher rules for smoking in public.

“I think it’s a fabulous idea! I’m a non-smoker and I don’t like inhaling those puffs of tobacco, so I would prefer it,” Angela Oddo said.

“Smoking as a whole is kind of like Regina’s culture, but the whole smoking ban I think would be a great thing,” Damon Munoz remarked.

“I can appreciate that smokers aren’t going to like it perhaps, but maybe it will help you stop smoking. Wouldn’t that be a blessing in disguise,” Lisa Elliott chuckled.

If Regina introduces a public smoking ban, it will be one of the last major Canadian cities to do so.

“It’s not the burning issue that people are talking about around the city, but they do want changes. Members of council have heard that as well, and they want those changes to go forward,” Mayor Fougere said.

Several Vancouver Canucks players have shown symptoms of mumps.

The team says thus far defenceman Troy Stecher is the only player with a confirmed test result, but four more players, including Chris Tanev, Nikita Tryamkin, Mike Chaput and Markus Granlund have each shown symptoms, according to Canucks General Manager Jim Benning.

The team says it has been working with the Vancouver Health Authority, the NHL, NHLPA and BC Centre for Disease Control to minimize transmission of the illness.

Players who are presenting symptoms are being immediately tested and quarantined in isolation for a five-day period from the onset of symptoms or until test results prove negative.

WATCH: Mike Drolet reports on what’s behind the sudden uptick of a virus long thought eradicated

ChangSha Night Net

Vaccines are also being administered to minimize further risk of contraction along with universal preventative hygiene measures as recommended by Vancouver Coastal Health, including disinfecting all dressing-room areas.

Vancouver Coastal Health authorities will be on hand at Rogers Arena on Friday to screen players and staff and immunize those who need it.

The team is facing the San Jose Sharks at Rogers Arena on Saturday, but it is not yet clear if the outbreak within the team will affect their schedule.

READ MORE: Here is everything you to need to know about mumps

The mumps virus is found in saliva and respiratory droplets and is spread through coughing, sneezing and coming into contact with saliva through kissing, sharing drinks, utensils, food or water bottles.

Symptoms of mumps can last up to 10 days and include fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, loss of appetite and swelling and pain in one or more salivary glands in the sides of cheeks or jaw.

The news comes as Toronto is also dealing with a mumps outbreak. The total number of cases in the city has now reached 17. Meanwhile, in Alberta, the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League have been sidelined by mumps after seven players and coaches came down with symptoms.

READ MORE: Western Hockey League tries to minimize spread of mumps as AHS warns of outbreak