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Christmas saved: Senior reunited with gifts he left in Good Samaritans’ car

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CTVNews.ca with reports from CTV Atlantic’s Bruce Frisko


Published Wednesday, December 19, 2018 11:00AM EST

A Nova Scotia couple have had a stranger’s Christmas gifts under their tree for the past several days.

They belong to 78-year-old Bill Bonner and it’s not much of a stretch to say the pair of good Samaritans helped to save his Christmas this year.

It all started on Monday, when Darlene and Danny Boudreau noticed the slightly puzzled senior holding up bags of Christmas gifts in the sprawling parking lot of Dartmouth’s Mic Mac Mall.

It’s no surprise that Bonner had lost track of his car, considering it’s one of the largest shopping malls in all of Atlantic Canada.

So the couple offered to drive him around to help him find his light-blue Jeep. The chatty senior, who never gave his name to them, offered $20 for their help.

But Boudreau told CTV Atlantic they refused it and told him: “Just get in the car, I’ll drive around and we’ll find your vehicle.”

After circling the lot, they eventually found his vehicle and they parted ways. But the couple quickly realized he’d forgotten his shopping bags that he’d initially tossed into the back seat.

The Boudreaus began sharing the story on social media — garnering plenty of likes and retweets — and a day later, word finally reached Bonner.

“It was incredible,” Boudreau told CTV Atlantic on Monday. “All the people on the internet and people just calling and trying to figure out who this mystery guy was.”

Bonner was thrilled and called the couple on Tuesday morning.

Before he called them, Boudreau’s wife said she’d barely slept, saying she was constantly “checking the Facebook messages to see if someone had gotten in contact with me.”

Bonner’s coworkers at a Dartmouth car dealership said the outpouring of support couldn’t have come to a more fitting person.

“The lady that runs our canteen was sick this (Tuesday) morning, so he went out and bought breakfast for all the parts guys in the parts department,” Bill Malcolm, the parts manager at the dealership, told CTV Atlantic.

After the whirlwind past two days, there’s a key lesson Bonner is taking away from the whole ordeal: “Remember where you parked your car. That’s probably the most important thing.”

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LIFESTYLES

Ottawa families give mixed reviews for online schooling

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So, how’s it going with online school? Families reached by CBC Ottawa seem to have mixed reviews. 

Masuma Khan is a mother of two. Her seven-year-old, Hana Wyndham in Grade 2, is attending French immersion virtual school. Masuma is grateful it’s an option, but can’t help notice a lot of down time.

“There’s a lot of, ‘are you on mute?’ In terms of the amount of learning that’s actually happening, it does seem to be not that high,” said Masuma.

Parents who kept their children at home this fall are in the minority, but they still form a significant chunk of families in Ottawa.

In the city’s largest school board, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB), about 27 per cent of elementary students and 22 per cent of high school students chose online learning. The Ottawa Catholic School Board says roughly a quarter of its students are online.

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Top environment official urges Canadians to back Ottawa’s ambitious plans to tackle plastic trash

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The second in command at the federal Environment Ministry challenged Canadians to continue to speak up about the problem of plastic pollution and push elected officials, scientists and businesses to do more.

Quebec MP Peter Schiefke, parliamentary secretary to the minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, made the comments online at Vancouver’s annual zero waste conference on Friday.

He said most Canadians want solutions to curb the tens of thousands of tonnes of plastic garbage that ends up as litter each year on the country’s beaches, parks, lakes and in the stomachs of animals. 

“Making sure that message is heard with industry stakeholders, elected officials and make sure that they are constantly putting pressure on it … so we notice that this is something that Canadians want, the backing of Canadians to go and undertake these huge challenges,” he said.

Schiefke filled in for  Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson at the last minute after Wilkinson was called away to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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OC Transpo’s monthly bus pass one of the most expensive fares in Canada

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OTTAWA — OC Transpo’s monthly bus pass is one of the most expensive passes in Canada, and transit riders are facing another 2.5 per cent hike in transit fares on New Year’s Day.

Ahead of Wednesday’s Transit Commission meeting on the 2021 budget, CTV News Ottawa looked at the cost of a monthly adult bus pass at transit services across Canada. Ottawa ranks behind the TTC in Toronto, Mississauga’s “MiWay”, Brampton Transit and Vancouver “TransLink” Zone 2 access to the suburbs for most expensive transit fares in Canada.

The cost of an OC Transpo adult monthly bus pass is currently $119.50 a month.

The 2021 City of Ottawa budget includes a proposed 2.5 per cent hike in transit fares. If approved, an adult monthly transit pass will increase $3 to $122.50, while a youth pass will increase $2.25 to $94.50 a month.  The cost of an adult single-ride cash fare would rise a nickel to $3.65.

The TTC is the most expensive transit service in Canada, charging $156 a month for an adult fare. MiWay charges $135 a month, and the cost of an adult monthly pass with Brampton Transit is $128.

Metro Vancouver’s transportation network “TransLink” has three fare zones. The monthly bus pass cost for “Zone 1”, which covers Vancouver, is $97 for adults. The “Zone 2” fare, which covers Vancouver and the suburbs of Richmond and Burnaby, is $131 a month.

Edmonton Transit Service, which includes a Light Rail System with 18 stations on two different lines, charges $97 a month for an adult monthly bus pass.

An adult monthly bus pass in Calgary costs $109 a month.

The survey by CTV News Ottawa of transit fares across Canada shows Gatineau has higher transit fares than Montreal and Quebec City. The STO charges $99 a month.

A monthly adult bus pass costs $88.50 in Montreal and $89.50 in Quebec City.

The cheapest adult monthly bus fare is in Charlottetown, at $58.50 a month. A monthly bus pass in Whitehorse costs $62 a month.

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