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Edmonton teen uses Make-A-Wish to help other kids fighting cancer

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CTVNews.ca Staff with files from Timm Bruch


Published Friday, December 21, 2018 9:07PM EST


Last Updated Friday, December 21, 2018 9:19PM EST

Given the chance to make any wish she wanted, an Edmonton teen who recently battled cancer decided she wanted to make life a little easier for other kids in hospital.

Sophia Ferris was 12 years old when doctors removed a lump from her neck last year. Doctors diagnosed her with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and ordered her to undergo four intensive, 21-day cycles of chemotherapy.

The treatment was challenging and meant that Ferris spent a lot of time in hospital. So, when the Make-A-Wish foundation gave her the chance to make a wish of her own, she opted to help those in need.

“The idea came to me and it was pretty clear what I wanted to do,” Ferris told CTV Edmonton.

Ferris, whose cancer is now in remission, joined a team of volunteers Friday to pack up 300 bags of goodies for oncology patients at Stollery Children’s Hospital and the Cross Cancer Institute. The packages are filled with items Ferris says she could’ve used when she was in treatment.

“Lotion, because the hospital is dirty and dry. Toothbrushes and toothpaste for when you need to stay over, if you do unfortunately it sucks but it’s good to have it. A Sobey’s gift card or Safeway so when you get home you can get groceries and it’s just a lot easier for you,” she said.

A book Ferris wrote will be tucked inside the care packages. It’s titled “Sophia’s Tips,” and it includes helpful pointers on how to make the most out of a hospital stay.

“Just to help you get through everything so, like, drink more water for your energy, be around family and friends,” Ferris said.

Ferris’s generosity is “a lesson we can all learn from,” says Make-A-Wish Northern Alberta spokesperson Leanne Gullekson.

“She’s taking circumstances that were beyond her control, something that she struggled through, and she’s turning it into something that she can use to benefit other people,” Gullekson said.

The plan is to deliver the care packages in early 2019. Ferris says she’s looking forward to making the deliveries.

“It’s going to be a great feeling. It’s going to be awesome.”

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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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