The Brock team for the Alzheimer Society Walk for Memories is looking for more people willing to lace up their runners for a good cause.The team is looking for more members to join them for the walk when it returns to campus on Sunday, Jan. 26 from 9:30 to 1:30.Those hoping to join to cause can register online. Prefer to make a donation instead? Pledges can also be made online. Volunteers to help the Brock Leaders Citizenship Society and Student Life and Community Experience run the walk are also welcome. To help out, email marks Brock’s second year hosting the event. The route for the walk will be indoors, taking walkers through the Walker Complex, to the Schmon Tower lobby and back to the Ian Beddis Gym.

The National Energy Board’s hearings on the controversial Enbridge pipeline proposal are underway today in Montreal. Enbridge’s plan is to ship crude oil from western Canada by pipeline to Quebec’s two refineries.Protestors held a rally at Dundurn Castle yesterday to show their anger with the proposal. They say the expansion of the pipeline flows will not only cost thousands of manufacturing jobs in Ontario and Quebec, but will also threaten drinking water.The hearings are being streamed online, and will include opening statements by Enbridge, as well as arguments from oil companies, unions, governments and citizen groups.The hearings will move to Toronto next week.

A Welland woman is facing charges in a fraud investigation by Niagara Regional Police. Officers began an investigation in November of 2017, after being contacted by the Niagara South Federation of Agriculture.The agriculture group advocates on behalf of farm families in the region. Investigators say the group was defrauded of over $65,000 over a two-year period. Amy Clattenberg, 37, is charged with fraud over $5,000 and falsification of books or documents. Detectives are continuing to investigate and say there may be other victims. Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Const. Daniels at (905) 688-4111, dial option 3 Badge 9401.

NEW YORK — Amazon’s “Prime Day” is back, and so is the temptation to shop and overspend on stuff you don’t need.The made-up holiday, first launched in 2015, has become one of Amazon’s busiest shopping days, offering discounts on gadgets, TVs and other goods. But it’s also a way for Amazon to get more people to sign up for its $119-a-year Prime membership.This year, despite its name, Prime Day is happening on two days: July 15 and July 16.Here are some tips for navigating the sales holiday:PLAN AHEADTo cut down on impulse purchases, write down what you want ahead of time and set a spending limit, says Ross Steinman, a professor of psychology at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania.Much of what is on sale is kept a secret until the event, but you’ll be able to browse deals ahead of time on Amazon’s app, the company says. Based on past Prime Days, expect its deepest discounts to be on Amazon devices, like its voice-activated Echo speakers and Kindle e-book readers.Sara Skirboll, a shopping expert at deals site RetailMeNot, recommends setting up a “Wish List” on the Amazon app and allowing it to send notifications so you can get alerts if those items get a price cut.SLOW DOWNUse the two days of discounts to your advantage. Before you buy, give yourself some time to think about whether you actually need the items you’re eyeing. It can help cut down on overspending, says Steinman.“You have some time to cool off,” he says.PRIME WORKAROUNDThe deals are only for Prime members. But if you’re not a member, you don’t have to pay the fee to take part. Amazon offers a 30-day free trial when you sign up for Prime. Just remember to set a calendar reminder to cancel the subscription before you are charged $12.99 a month or $119 for the year.SHOP AROUNDOther stores are crashing Amazon’s party, which means more deals for shoppers. Walmart, Target and eBay plan to offer their own online discounts during Amazon’s Prime Day event. So make sure to search around on other sites to make sure it isn’t cheaper elsewhere.PRICE HISTORYUse price tracking websites, such as CamelCamelCamel or Keepa, to see how the price of an item has changed on Amazon over time. It can help you see if you’re really getting the lowest price or if the item tends to be cheaper during other times of the year.“Just because something is on sale, doesn’t mean it’s a great deal,” says Skirboll._____Contact Joseph Pisani at Pisani, The Associated Press read more

CALGARY — The Canadian Energy Research Institute says growth in oilsands production over the next 20 years is expected to be slower than previously forecast, despite falling project construction costs.In an update study, the Calgary-based think-tank says it expects total oilsands output to grow from about three million barrels per day in 2018 to between 4.1 million and 5.8 million bpd in 2039.In its reference or base case, CERI predicts bitumen crude output will grow by an average of 80,000 bpd or just over two per cent per year over the next 20 years, down from last year’s estimate of three per cent growth, to about 4.7 million bpd.It calculates overall capital spending will average $16.5 billion per year but notes risk factors including the recent tendency of the industry to defer or cancel projects, further success in cutting costs, uncertainty about Alberta’s 100-megatonne cap on sector greenhouse gas emissions and the unknown future of export oil pipelines.CERI says the slower growth will result in the industry staying well within the emissions cap, reaching 94 megatonnes by 2039 — under last year’s forecast, the cap would have been reached by 2030.It says the cost of building a new steam-driven oilsands project has fallen by 11 per cent to C$40.61 per barrel of production, while an expansion project’s cost has fallen by six per cent to C$27.60 per barrel.“At current (West Texas Intermediate) prices of around US$60 per barrel, these projects are decidedly economic,” the report notes.“The relative position of oilsands projects against other crude oils is comparatively competitive and, as oil prices are expected to increase, so will the profitability of oilsands projects.”The Canadian Press read more

MONTREAL — National Bank reported first-quarter net income of $552 million, up $2 million from the same period a year earlier.The Montreal-based lender’s earnings amounted to diluted earnings per share of $1.50 for the three-month period ended Jan. 31, up from $1.46 a year ago.That’s lower than the $1.54 in diluted earnings per share expected by analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters Eikon.The bank says its results this quarter were driven by growth in most of its businesses, tempered by a slowdown in its financial markets segment in the wake of the market volatility late last year.National Bank’s saw a year-over-year uptick in profit from Canadian retail banking, wealth management, and its U.S. specialty finance and international operations, but earnings from its financial markets division dropped 17 per cent from one year ago.Chief executive Louis Vachon says the bank delivered a “good performance despite challenging markets.”“We continue to benefit from the diversification of our business, a strong Quebec economy and our prudent approach to risk. Credit quality remains excellent, and the Bank posted solid capital ratios,” Vachon said in a statement. read more

More than 135 local teachers could lose their jobs under the province’s plan to increase secondary school class sizes.Larger class sizes and mandatory online courses for high school students are among the many education changes announced by the Ontario government.The average class size for high schools will increase to 28 from 22 starting in the new school year in September.The province is also making it mandatory for high school students to take at least four online courses out of the 30 they need to graduate starting in the 2020-21 school year.In a statement, Greg Anderson, chair of the Grand Erie District School Board, said moving to an average class size of 28 students will mean the loss of about 94 teaching positions and eight additional jobs related to secondary school programming.“Understandably, this will create a challenging situation for our board,” said Anderson. “As we are developing our staffing plans moving forward, we will exercise extreme restraint in hiring to replace retiring teachers or those who leave the board for other opportunities.“We will also look for ways to offset the impact of this change over time, as was outlined by the education minister.”Although representatives from the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board wouldn’t speculate on how many jobs could be lost under the provincial plan, the union representing its high school teachers said it could be up to 60, including 40 teachers.“That is a third of our secondary staff,” said Carlo Fortino, acting president of the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Unit of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association. “Many of our young, enthusiastic teachers would lose their jobs.“Many classes could have up to 40 students. It is a recipe for chaos. It’s going to have a dramatic impact. It’s very distressing.”In a statement released by the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board, chair Rick Petrella said the board is in the process of finalizing enrolment statistics and staffing projections.“When we receive more information from the Ministry of Education about the proposed changes, we will be in a position to share the impact on our staffing complement,” said Petrella. “Our stable financial position matched with clarification from the ministry will assist us with this process.”Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation president Harvey Bischof said: “The government has declared war on Ontario’s public education system.”He said the increased class sizes, phased in over four years, will result in a cut of 3,630 teachers —  “a loss that cannot possibly be absorbed without a significant impact on student learning and success.”Bischof said other changes announced by the province, including a reduction of 12.91 per cent of the Pupil Foundation grant over four years and a reduction of 5.88 per cent to the overall Grants for Student Needs over the same period, will remove  $1.4 billion from Ontario’s public education system.He said the moves amount to “an appalling betrayal of the public trust.”“Not only do they make a mockery of the claim that there is fat to cut in Ontario’s public education system, but given the premier’s repeated election promises that no jobs will be lost, the government quite simply has no mandate to make the changes.”Fortino said OECTA is looking at several ways to combat the changes, including putting public pressure on the government through protests and letter campaigns. He said they are also considering court options.“Some of these things, including class sizes, are supposed to be collective bargaining items,” he said.Anderson said slightly larger class sizes proposed for Grades 4 to 8 are still being assessed by the Grand Erie board.He added that the board is “pleased” to see the ministry’s focus on increasing exposure to skilled trades, technology and apprenticeship training.“We hope this will help boost Grand Erie’s already strong Specialist High Skills Major programs in construction, manufacturing and transportation.”Anderson said the board is “cautiously optimistic” about the government’s commitment to increasing learning about Indigenous perspectives, cultures, contributions and histories, a “key priority for the board.”He  said Grand Erie also is encouraged that the ministry is seeking input on hiring practices. read more

City of Saskatoon loses $1 million to fraudster posing as executive Tank: Scam stings at Saskatoon city hall with shiny fiscal reputation City of Saskatoon staff say $40,000 of the $1.04 million lost through an online fraud scheme has been recovered, while the majority of the funds have been legally “locked down.”City manager Jeff Jorgenson provided additional details about the fraud and recovery efforts in an interview on Monday. He did not specify how much of the remaining $1 million scattered among “multiple” bank accounts is under lockdown, or the country of origin of the accounts, but said the focus right now is on efforts to recover the money. The city hired an Ontario-based law firm to work with Canadian banks and issue court orders where most of the big banks are based.“What I can say is the vast majority of the money has been traced and legally frozen,” Jorgenson said. He was advised not to disclose how much of it was traced by both the internal and Ontario legal teams, in part because the amount is changing “hour by hour” as the banks find more money, he said.The money that has been located so far is in 10 to 15 accounts, Jorgenson said. After the money is frozen through the court orders, the individual bank account holders have to be informed they have the proceeds of fraud and to return the money. Jorgenson said some of the money will be returned voluntarily.“There’s a chance that some might contest it, and we basically just go through the legal proceedings to do everything we can to get the money back,” he said.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.He thinks there’s a possibility some of the money has been spent, since not all of it has been frozen, he added.The fraud was the first of its kind the City of Saskatoon has faced. Jorgenson said the fraud came to light on Aug. 12 after it became clear to the rightful receiver, Allan Construction, that the funds weren’t going to show up in its bank account. The payment was specifically related to the Sen. Sid Buckwold Bridge rehabilitation project, he said.The city was initially contacted in July by someone impersonating the company’s chief financial officer, Blaine Dubreuil, in an electronic communication, Jorgenson said. On Aug. 7 or 8, the city made the payment to the account provided by the perpetrator. After the fraud was discovered, the city reported it to Saskatoon police.“It’s very disconcerting that the perpetrator used my name and our company name to commit this crime,” Dubreuil said in a statement. “We have done a security assessment and are confident that our systems were not hacked or compromised. We’ll be working closely with the City of Saskatoon and the Saskatoon Police Service as the investigation continues.”The city made a claim to its insurer last week after it uncovered the fraud. Jorgenson said the city also immediately implemented new controls to prevent a similar scenario from repeating in the future. He said the verification controls have been “bolstered,” but declined to describe the past controls that were in place at the time of the breach — such as who processed the change or who signed off on it — since that is now part of the investigation.He said the city also reviewed all changes of bank account information that have occurred within the City of Saskatoon corporate structure over the last few months to ensure there aren’t any other “lingering” potential frauds about to happen.“There were controls in place, but clearly, the controls weren’t adequate to prevent this theft, so I’m not going to say that we were prepared,” he said.The $40,000 that was returned to the city was returned by the first account holder the city dealt with.Jorgenson did not disclose how much it cost to retain the Ontario legal team; he said the cost has yet to be determined, but will be disclosed at the end of the process. He expects to make future updates to the public and to city council, he added.A perpetrator of the scheme — known as “whaling” because it targets higher profile entities than a “phishing” scam — has not been identified, Jorgenson said.tjames@postmedia.comRelated read more