Rob Ford musical finds its star

TORONTO – After campaigning nearly as hard as a candidate in Toronto’s mayoral race, Sheldon Bergstrom of Prince Albert, Sask., has landed the role of Rob Ford in an upcoming new musical comedy about the city’s embattled mayor.

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“I’ve been fascinated by him for a long time,” the actor-singer-comedian told The Canadian Press on Tuesday. “All across Canada, all throughout the world, people are watching this man, this mayor of … Canada’s greatest city, and he has managed to pull off some amazing things and pull off some crazy things in his time as mayor.”

“Rob Ford the Musical: Birth of A Ford Nation” is set to debut at Toronto’s Factory Theatre from Sept. 16 to 28.

The 90-minute show has 10 original tunes and sees a “spiritual guide” leading Ford through the past year of his tumultuous life — including his admitted drug use and stint in rehab.

Bergstrom, 42, said he was starring in the musical “Hairspray” in Edmonton when auditions for the role of Ford were held earlier this summer, so he wrote to the producers and creators “and begged them and pleaded” for an opportunity to try out.

When they agreed, he sent them “love letters” as well as a video of him singing “Mustang Sally” and what he calls “a Rob Ford version” of Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab.”

He later sent them more videos and had friends, family members and fellow actors from across Canada campaign for him via Facebook and 桑拿会所.

Producers say he ended up winning the role over nearly 100 other hopeful actors, including one who’s starring on Broadway.

“He’s kind of like a Shakespearean cartoon character,” Bergstrom said at the Factory Theatre, wearing a Ford-esque suit complete with a red tie and a handkerchief to wipe the perspiration off his forehead.

“I am so lucky to be playing him.”

Bergstrom said he was also keen on getting the part because he wanted to work on a new musical and had long been wanting to collaborate with book/lyrics writers Brett McCaig and P. Joseph Regan, as well as composer Anthony Bastianon.

The portly performer also bears a resemblance to Ford — something he’s further emphasized by cutting his brown hair short and dyeing it blond.

McCaig said that resemblance, as well as Bergstrom’s talent, got him the part.

“Sheldon has been very genuine. We looked all over Canada and we saw a ton of people and he was the perfect Rob Ford.”

Liz Gilroy directs the show, which has several other recognizable characters, including councillor brother Doug Ford and novelist Margaret Atwood. She’ll be played by Lisa Horner, who recently made a splash as Madame Thenardier in a Toronto production of “Les Miserables.”

Bergstrom said before landing his part, he was mostly familiar with Ford’s “dark side” — the “crazy antics” he’d catch on the news in Saskatchewan.

“Every once in a while they’ll show him exploding in the middle of a city meeting and just scaring people to death, and I would think: ‘First of all, that guy looks like me, and second of all, he’s kind of crazy, someone should write a show about him.’”

McCaig said they only recently wrote the last few pages of the script, as they were waiting to see if Ford’s life would take yet another unexpected turn.

“We’ve got the ending … but we’re leaving room for possible antics,” he said.

He also put a “shout out” to the Ford brothers to see the show but hasn’t heard back, he added.

“I’d love Rob to come down and give the opening-night speech or the closing-night speech. This is not 90 minutes of Ford bashing. It’s a balanced look at the whole year, of all the players in it.”

Bergstrom is happy the script gives Ford “a fair shake.”

“I don’t want him to feel like he’s been picked on and made fun of. It’s not about that,” he said. “This is a musical comedy, so there’s certainly some jabs, but the best thing about the script is that nobody is safe.”

McCaig said he’s hoping the show will have an extension, and he has ambitions of going off-Broadway with the production — depending on how the mayoral race turns out.

“The story dies if Rob doesn’t get voted back in,” he said. “If Rob gets voted back in, I think we’ve got legs for a continued run, for sure.”

— Follow @VictoriaAhearn on 桑拿会所.

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Online: robfordthemusical桑拿按摩

©2014The Canadian Press

‘They were lucky’: Paramedics talk about helping family struck by lightning – Toronto

TORONTO – The paramedics who helped save a family who was hit by lighting in Monday’s storm say the victims are lucky to be alive.

“They were lucky. We were lucky. It was a good outcome. There are many cases where it’s not,” said paramedic Alan Williams.

Williams and his partner, Lindsey Inwood, were the first ones to arrive. They had to work under a severe storm to help the victims. In fact, while emergency officials were on the scene, another bolt of lightning hit just metres away.

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“There is no way you could not hear it. You heard it. Felt it,” said Williams. “It was an amazing amount of energy. We were almost joking afterwards it was biblical.”

Inwood said paramedics were taking one of the victims to a truck when the lightning struck.

“The bolt hit the tree and possibly the ambulance and disabled the truck right there. No one was in the truck luckily,” said Inwood.

The family was enjoying a picnic at Morningside Park when the severe storm moved in. According to Toronto Police Service, four of the family members took refuge under a tree at a picnic table. Witnesses say lightning struck the tree.

“It’s possible it wasn’t a direct hit. The bolt comes down and sprays off a bunch of different electrical currents, so they might not have had the full effect of the lightning bolt,” said Inwood.

What happens when a person is struck by lightning

Health officials say the effects of a lightning strike on the body can range from mild to severe. Dr. Tony Stone with Lakeridge Health said the biggest risk is when you have a big shock to the heart and your heart stops. But there are minor strikes.

“With more minor strikes you can have brief loss of consciousness, confusion, memory loss, tingling and numbness,” said Dr. Stone.

Moderate strikes, he said, can impact the body even more.

“You might have a lot of muscle pain with it, and you can have other neurological features as well. You might have some ongoing lingering effects like irritability, tingling and numbness,” he said.

Witnesses say Monday’s storm came very suddenly. The lightning came soon after the downpour of rain. While some may seek shelter from the rain under a tree, Dr. Stone said that is not the best spot.

“Lightning tends to try and find the highest point,” he said. “What will happen is strikes will hit the tree but have a perimeter. A lot of injuries actually occur when the energy’s actually transmitted from an object to you”

Dr. Stone said only 5 per cent of injuries are caused by direct strikes, so he recommends seeking shelter indoors.

The family of four were all transported to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Paramedics say it’s a miracle everyone is okay.

“It’s definitely something you remember. It’s one of those calls you can’t stop talking about,” said Inwood.

Petition launched to end animal trapping in Calgary parks – Calgary

CALGARY- Calls for the city to change its animal control methods are growing, after a beaver was caught in a body grip in a trap in Fish Creek Park.

Last month, park users were horrified to come across the animal struggling to free itself.

“There were still days after when I still felt so distraught, and I still have a vision in my mind of seeing that beaver,” remembers Linda Lelonde, who found the beaver. “Finding out that it was possibly chewing off its leg, it’s so disturbing that an animal was put in a position to do that.”

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Related

  • Animal lover furious after beaver found trapped in Calgary park

A petition has since been launched to get the city to end their trapping practices, which already has over six hundred names.

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The city says the trap was set to stop the beaver from blocking a culvert and potentially flooding a foot path.

“It would be irresponsible for the City of Calgary to allow beaver activity to occur in areas where the safety of the public is put at risk, or there’s damage to public infrastructure,” explains James Borrow from Integrated Pest Management for the City of Calgary.

He adds they plan to review the case.

“We would always be interested in looking at how we would mitigate damage. As I said, this is part of an ongoing program that the city does in any case. We always look at our current practices and how we may improve.”

Councillor Diane Colley-Urquhart would also like to see an end to the practice, and plans to bring a motion before council in September.

-With files from Tracy Nagai

What you need to know about sleep deprivation – Toronto

Watch above: Dr. Samir Gupta explains what you need to know about sleep deprivation. 

TORONTO – The former English Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was known for working long days, sleeping very little and once said “sleep is for wimps.”

New research suggests some people with a genetic mutation might have more in common with the former prime minister than they might like.

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Scientists at the Centre for Applied Genomics in Philadelphia recently discovered that some people can get by with less than the recommended amount of sleep due to a genetic mutation to the so-called “clock gene.”

“They focused in on a set of genes called the clock genes that seem to regulate our sleep-wake cycles,” Global News medical contributor Dr. Samir Gupta said. “On average, the people who have this [genetic mutation] seem to require one hour less of sleep than people who don’t have it.”

The scientists studied a group of 100 people and found those with the genetic mutation performed mental tasks better than those without after 38 hours without sleep, and needed roughly 90 minutes less than those without the variant to recover from the sleep deprivation.

But the study didn’t look at whether the genetic variant prevents the damaging effects of chronic sleep deprivation.

So does this mean you can get by with less than the recommended 8 hours? Not so fast. Gupta is quick to point out that there have been numerous studies detailing the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation.

But he did note there’s no scientific evidence pointing to a blanket recommendation of how much sleep people should get.

Samir Gupta’s five facts about sleep deprivation:

1. There are acute effects

The acute effects of sleep deprivation are wide-ranging and can include increased response time, decreased attention span and problems with logical reasoning.

But a lack of sleep can also affect a person’s mood and judgement or lead to increased accidents at work and on the road.

In fact, data obtained by Global News showed a spike in pedestrian injuries in the week following the fall daylight saving time, when clocks are pushed back an hour.

2. There are chronic effects

A routine lack of sleep has been associated with a increased risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems including heart attacks.

Gupta suggests less hours spent sleeping can impair a person’s immune system and increase their susceptibility to the common cold.

There is also an association between chronic sleep deprivation and obesity, Gupta said.

3. It’s not just how many hours you’re asleep that’s important

The quality of your sleep is just as important as the amount of time.  Researchers at Tel Aviv University’s School of Psychological Sciences found a link between interrupted sleep and cognitive impairment.

“Even if you get eight hours, if you’re awoken four times in that eight-hour sleep period, your disruption in function the next day is as much as if you had only four hours of sleep,” Gupta said. “We want uninterrupted sleep.”

4. Turn off your cellphone

“We know light affects our day-night cycle, or our circadian rhythm, but particularly the short-wave or blue light from cellphones has a strong impact,” Gupta said.

The light emitted from a cellphone can suppress the production of melatonin, Gupta said, a hormone which regulates a person’s circadian rhythm.

5. Everybody’s different 

Each person will need a different amount of sleep – whether or not they have a genetic variant that will allow them to spend more time outside of the bedroom.

“I think people need to be practical about it,” Gupta said. “If you’re falling asleep when you don’t want to fall asleep, if you’re sleepy all day, if you’re not refreshed in the morning, you’re probably not getting enough sleep.”

Gallery: JAMBANA One World Festival 2014 – Toronto

The JAMBANA One World Festival took place on Sunday August 3 and Monday August 4, 2014 at the Markham Fairgrounds. Global’s Carolyn MacKenzie hosted a portion of the event on Sunday and brought her husband and kids along to enjoy the event. The festival had a family-friendly atmosphere with exciting entertainment, delicious food and plenty of activities for the whole family.

On Monday, Global News had a tent on site with face painting and colouring for kids as well as a photo booth where festival-goers could take photos on a neat JAMABNA background featuring Carolyn MacKenzie.

Despite a little rain on Monday, attendees were in great spirits and enjoyed all the fun and entertainment the festival offered.

Photo from Global News’ JAMBANA One World Festival “photo booth”

Global News

Photo from Global News’ JAMBANA One World Festival “photo booth”

Global News

Photo from Global News’ JAMBANA One World Festival “photo booth”

Global News

Photo from Global News’ JAMBANA One World Festival “photo booth”

Global News

Photo from Global News’ JAMBANA One World Festival “photo booth”

Global News

Photo from Global News’ JAMBANA One World Festival “photo booth”

Global News

Photo from Global News’ JAMBANA One World Festival “photo booth”

Global News

Photo from Global News’ JAMBANA One World Festival “photo booth”

Global News

Photo from Global News’ JAMBANA One World Festival “photo booth”

Global News

Photo from Global News’ JAMBANA One World Festival “photo booth”

Global News

Photo from Global News’ JAMBANA One World Festival “photo booth”

Global News

Photo from Global News’ JAMBANA One World Festival “photo booth”

Global News

Photo from Global News’ JAMBANA One World Festival “photo booth”

Global News

Photo from Global News’ JAMBANA One World Festival “photo booth”

Global News


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Tailings pond breach has local eco-tour operators concerned – BC

Eco-tour operators in the area of the tailings pond breach at Mount Polley are raising the alarm about the impact on their business.

It is estimated ten million cubic metres of water and 4.5 million cubic metres of toxic waste — equivalent to 2,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools — has spilled into Hazeltine Creek, Quesnel Lake and Polley Lake.

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The exact quantities of water and tailings spilled have not yet been determined and according to Imperial Metals Corporation statement they are working to mitigate the immediate impact of the tailings breach. The company claims the tailings pond breach has now stabilized.

But some of the local residents are calling it an environmental disaster.

Gary Zorn owns an eco tourism business in the area.

Ecotours BC specializes in bear and wildfire viewing.

Zorn says they are already getting phone calls from concerned eco-tour operators who want to know the extent of the damage and potential risks for their clients.

“It is going to be like Chernobyl. What tourist goes there to visit?” says Zorn. “Quesnel Lake is likely going to have that name to it here. The area is just total devastation. It is a huge wilderness area, but what happened is going to be a stereotype, that is the problem.”

Zorn says he has been in tourism business for over 30 years and his business attracts eco-tourists from all over the world.

“When we went up there yesterday, we looked at it and saw dead fish floating. We just could not believe our eyes.”

Zorn says residents have been reassured nothing of this magnitude would ever happen.

“The sad part of this is – they can drive away from it and we are stuck with it.”

He says he wants government and mine representatives to begin the cleanup as soon as possible.

He says so far, there’s been no communication from either side.

“I would like to see the government and Mount Polley come forward and assess the damage. Nobody has spoken with us.”

While scientists and conservationists say the total extent of damage from the tailings pond breach at Mount Polley won’t be known for weeks, the impact could be widespread.

A report from Environment Canada issued last year shows the disposals at the mine included lead, arsenic, zinc, mercury and phosphorus among many other elements.

“It could take anything from weeks to decades to recover, depending on the scale of this,” says Phil Owens, a member of the Quesnel River Research Centre.

There are concerns around the debris and chemicals from the tailing ponds coming down into Quesnel Lake. Others fear the billions of litres of contaminated water could pollute other water ways in the area.

It came from Lake Erie: Why toxic algae’s a nightmare for Canada, too

It’s slimy, green and threatened the water supply for hundreds of thousands. Next year, it could be millions.

But this aquatic supervillian should be familiar to Lake Erie residents on both sides of the border by now: The toxic algae – which contains Microcystis, a cyanobacteria toxic to humans and wildlife – has been a menace of various degrees for years.

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Related

  • Toledo mayor lifts water ban for 400,000 residents

  • Toledo’s tainted tap water improving, but should still be avoided: mayor

  • Governor: Too early to know what caused toxic spike in Toledo’s water supply

  • Lake Erie threatened by algae blooms: Report

  • Toxic algae bloom on Lake Erie a sign of things to come: experts

And even though Canadians weren’t directly affected by the tap water ban in Toledo, Ohio – lifted on Monday  – they shouldn’t feel so relieved.

Canadian shorelines are just as vulnerable to the algae bloom, says Raj Bejankiwar, a physical scientist with the International Joint Commission, an agency made up of both Canadian and U.S. officials. He said Canada may yet be affected by algal blooms starting this month and next.

“It is a issue of concern for both Canadian and U.S. [citizens] who are withdrawing water from, especially on the Western basin, of Lake Erie.”

Just ask Pelee Islanders, who were forbidden from drinking, bathing or cooking with tap water contaminated by a toxic algae bloom in 2009.

What’s going on?

Lake Erie is the shallowest of all the Great Lakes, exposing it to algae blooms as it warms faster than deeper lakes. It’s also the second-most populous of the Great Lakes, according to the  Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, with 11.6 million people ringing its shores.

In warmer months the algae blooms create a thick surface layer in the lakes, choking the deeper water, creating a condition called hypoxia. As the algae decays it depletes the oxygen in the deeper water, creating a “dead zone”, making it impossible for most fish and wildlife to survive. Climate change can extend the time that hypoxic conditions occur as warmer weather starts earlier and ends later in the season than normal, according to the Lake Erie Ecosystem Priority (LEEP), which the International Joint Commission created in 2011 as a result of the largest algae bloom ever recorded – stretching 5,000 square kilometres.

Free-floating algae mats grow in its western basin; in its Eastern basin, large blooms along the shoreline clog water intake, decrease water quality and pose of health risk to humans, pets and wildlife.

Algae blooms can expose humans and animals to toxins causing skin rashes, headaches, fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and liver failure.

Why is this happening?

Phosphorous – found in fertilizer, among other things – is the leading factor behind growing algae blooms. It gets washed into the lake via fertilized farmlands, lawns and gardens, construction, stormwater runoff, deciduous tree leaves and pet waste.

But it’s not that people are using more of it, Bejankiwar says: Heavy bursts of rainfall – more common thanks to climate change -are overpowering agricultural and sewage infrastructure, meaning more phosphorous runoff.

This photo of the record-setting 2011 Lake Erie algae bloom was taken in August of that year along the southeast shore of Pelee Island, Ontario.

Tom Archer, handout

What are we doing about it?

A report this past February called on the U.S. and Canadian governments to come up with a joint plan to stop the algae blooms. The report’s 15 recommendations include regulations limiting the amount of phosphorus use and giving farmers a better alternative, as well as boosting monitoring.

There are mechanical ways to clean up the algae in small bodies of water -using using nets or chemicals, for example – but “that’s almost a band-aid approach,” Bejankiwar says. It won’t work in a body of water as big as Lake Erie.

Bejankiwar hasn’t seen any action from the Canadian government in response to the recommendations, but he’s confident that the government will act eventually.

Governments on both sides of the border have a lot on the line when it comes to cleaning up the lake, he said: The Great Lakes Restorative Initiative is a collaboration between the U.S. and Canadian governments to focus on the main threats to the Great Lakes’ ecosystem health. The Great Lakes Nutrient Initiative provides $16 million in funding to address recurrent algae problem in the Great Lakes and will focus on Lake Erie.

READ: The February 2014 report on how to reduce toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie

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What you need to know about concerns over Facebook’s Messenger app

Watch above: Here’s what you need to know about Facebook’s new messenger app. Sean O’Shea reports. 

TORONTO – If Facebook’s controversial emotion manipulation study didn’t have you up in arms about the site’s privacy practices, then perhaps concerns surrounding the social network’s Messenger app will.

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Over the past week, an article citing the invasive permissions listed in the Facebook Messenger app’s Terms of Service started going viral.

Though the article – written by marketing expert Sam Fiorella for Huffington Post – was published in 2013, its revelations spread like wild fire recently due to Facebook’s announcement that all users will be forced to download the standalone app if they wish to send and receive private messages on their mobile devices.

READ MORE: Is Facebook’s Messenger app as scary as it sounds?

But the app requests a number of “insidious” (in Fiorella’s words) permissions, including the power to make phone calls and send text messages without the user knowing.

Here are some of the most alarming permissions outlined in the app’s terms of service: 

Allows the app to call phone numbers without your intervention. This may result in unexpected charges or calls. Malicious apps may cost you money by making calls without your confirmation.Allows the app to send SMS messages. This may result in unexpected charges. Malicious apps may cost you money by sending messages without your confirmation.Allows the app to record audio with microphone. This permission allows the app to record audio at any time without your confirmation.Allows the app to take pictures and videos with the camera. This permission allows the app to use the camera at any time without your confirmation.Allows the app to read personal profile information stored on your device, such as your name and contact information. This means the app can identify you and may send your profile information to others.

Other things listed in the permissions includes the ability to change the state of the network connectivity, ability to read the phone’s call logs, read data about contacts and access a list of accounts stored in the phone’s memory.

And while Facebook may have legitimate reasons for accessing something like your phone’s camera – let’s say, if you want to send your friend a selfie – the statement “this permission allows the app to use the camera at any time without your confirmation,” does sound alarming.

READ MORE: Will Facebook lose users over its emotion manipulation study?

But these revelations aren’t new. In fact, if you have already installed the Messenger app on your smartphone you have already agreed to these terms.

The concern is that now Facebook is forcing users to download the Messenger app to send and receive messages from their Friends.

Those who have not yet downloaded the Messenger app will start receiving notifications on their devices asking them to download the app any day now.

Eventually, the social network will prevent users from sending messages through the Facebook mobile app – forcing the user to download Messenger if they chose to communicate that way.

But Messenger isn’t the only app with invasive terms.

According to the Washington Post, fitness app RunKeeper asks for permission to access your phone’s contacts and call logs, while WeatherBug wants permission to view your Wi-Fi network and other devices connected to it.

Even Kim Kardashian’s new app asks for personal data – Kim Kardashian: Hollywood tracks your location, device ID and incoming calls.

Yet despite this, some studies say less than ten per cent of web users actually read the terms of service agreements in full when downloading an app or signing up for a website.

UPDATE (Aug. 6): Many of the concerns surrounding Messenger’s app stem from the Android version.

On Android, users must agree to the permissions immediately after downloading an app – so the user sees requests for permission to “allow the app to record audio,” for example, before they may know there is an audio recording feature.

This is quite different from iOS, which asks the user to grant permission to use features as they try to access them in the app. For example, the first time the user taps on the audio recording feature in Messenger they receive a message that reads, “Messenger would like to access your microphone.”

Winnipeg school board candidate touts abstinence-only sex education – Winnipeg

WINNIPEG – A Manitoba Progressive Conservative youth leader and school board candidate has ignited an online backlash for saying she supports abstinence-only sex education.

Candace Maxymowich issued several social conservative messages on 桑拿会所 on Monday and Tuesday, including mentions of pro-life organizations. The 20-year-old, who is running to be a public school board trustee in the Louis Riel school division in Winnipeg, garnered the most controversy with a tweet about sex ed.

“Personally, I do not support sex education other than abstinence,” it read.

Another tweet referred to the “moral integrity” of children.

The online response was immediate. Many commenters called her views backward and argued that teens need to be educated about contraception to prevent pregnancy and disease

“Are we going back to the Dark Age?” read one comment.

Maxymowich said she was not trying to campaign on the issue and was only expressing her personal opinion.

“There are certainly issues relating to family values and religious freedoms in schools that I think school trustee candidates shouldn’t really shy away from,” she said in an interview.

“If I were to be elected, I’m not necessarily going to be pushing for that in our schools.”

Manitoba’s public-school curriculum does tout abstinence as the safest method of prevention. But it also educates high school students about various contraception methods, such as the proper way to wear a condom. There is also a provision that allows parents to have their kids opt out of some material due to religious or cultural beliefs.

“Some school divisions in Manitoba refer to ‘abstinence plus’ education for students, as it is considered prudent to inform students of any birth-control methods … and address the advantages and disadvantages to maximize safety and reduce harm for those students who have or may become sexually active,” Rachel Morgan, press secretary to Education Minister James Allum, wrote in an email.

Maxymowich sits on the provincial Tory board of directors as the party’s youth representative. She took on the role in 2013, after her predecessor, Braydon Mazurkiewich was ousted for making racist comments on Facebook about aboriginals.

Mazurkiewich was criticizing a planned urban reserve on an old military base and said the area was being given to “freeloading Indians.” He resigned a few hours later after pressure from party officials.

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©2014The Canadian Press

No need for exotic pets in province: N.B. SPCA – New Brunswick

FREDERICTON, N.B. – On the one year anniversary of the shocking deaths of two young boys in Campbellton, N.B., the executive director of the New Brunswick SPCA said he hopes a task force will spark some changes when it comes to keeping exotic animals as pets in the province.

Hilary Howe was asked last month to join the task force meant to review the province’s exotic pet rules and regulations.

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The task force was spurred after an African Rock Python claimed the lives of Noah and Connor Barthe; the brothers were killed when a python escaped its enclosure and asphyxiated the boys while they slept.

“The tragedy just struck home big time,” Howes said. “It was just such a surprise that anything like that could happen in New Brunswick.”

The task force’s mandate will be to review existing legislation in the province, including the Fish and Wildlife Act, to see if amendments are needed.

Howe said he’s looking to make it safer for people to be in a home where an exotic animal is being kept.

“I actually would like to see them all excluded from New Brunswick. There’s really no reason to own venomous snakes and lizards, scorpions and spiders,” he said. “There’s always too great a risk that these things can get out and hurt somebody.”

Liberal MLA Donald Arseneault says he would like to see an external review of the Department of Natural Resources and of everyone involved in the case.

“There’s no doubt in this situation, the owner had a reptile that was not allowed in New Brunswick, and he had it for quite some time,” Areseault said in a telephone interview with Global News. “So something, somewhere has faltered.”

“We owe it to Noah and Connor to make sure it never happens again.”

Since 1992, African rock pythons have been banned in New Brunswick unless a permit is obtained. Only accredited zoos can obtain such a permit.

A total of 23 reptiles banned in New Brunswick were seized from the pet shop after the boys’ deaths. Four American alligators that were also taken from the store were euthanized.

The task force is scheduled to meet for the first time August 21. The investigation into the Campbellton case is now in the hands of the Crown Prosecutor in Edmundston, N.B.