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Flying over the holidays? Don’t pack these Christmas items

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With a report from CTV Winnipeg’s Gabrielle Marchand


Published Thursday, December 20, 2018 7:48PM EST


Last Updated Thursday, December 20, 2018 8:08PM EST

As the holiday travel season hits its peak, air travel experts are warning travellers to be careful about what they pack.

This Christmas marks the first time Canadians can fly with cannabis for the holidays. But federal rules only permit 30 grams of cannabis per person.

Toronto Pearson International Airport, which expects Friday to be its busiest day with an anticipated 135,000 travellers, said passengers carrying cannabis should be aware of the possibility of unexpected penalties if a plane needs to make “an unplanned diversion” outside of Canada.

“Taking cannabis or any product containing cannabis across Canada’s international borders is illegal and can result in serious criminal penalties both at home and abroad,” the airport said in a statement.

The majority of passengers likely aren’t flying with cannabis. But many travellers will pack gifts for loved ones – and, if you want those gifts to remain a secret, it’s best not to wrap them, according to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA).

“We might have to open it … and as much as we like unwrapping gifts, we’d much prefer not to unwrap yours,” said CATSA spokesperson Christine Langlois.

A strict ban on Christmas crackers is enforced, and travellers are not allowed to bring them in carry-on bags or checked luggage.

Snow globes and toys that contain water could also cause hold-ups at security, particularly if the items contain more than 100 milliliters of water. Authorities say you might also want to rethink packing large jars of jam or peanut butter, as they are considered liquids.

Of course, year-round rules still apply banning toys that could be mistaken as weapons, sharp objects, explosives and more than 350 milliliters of inorganic powders

Airports across the country are expected to be packed over the next few days, and travellers are advised to arrive earlier than usual in order to ensure that they arrive at their gate on time.

“A lot of the biggest stressors we see are people rushing, trying to catch a flight. Lines are a little bit longer this time of year,” said Tyler MacAfee with the Winnipeg Airports Authority.

For those travelling through Toronto, Pearson International Airport recommends that travellers reserve a parking spot in advance.

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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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LIFESTYLES

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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LIFESTYLES

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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