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Posted by On September 18, 2018

FIBA Americas Qualifiers: Canada dominates Chile to maintain Group F lead

Rudi Schuller @RudiSchuller

Published on Sep. 17, 2018

Sep. 17, 2018

Even without its NBA stars, Canada put on an offensive display with a dominant 84-61 win over Chile in second round action of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers in Valdivia on Monday night.

The Canadian squad that traveled to South America looked very different from the one that defeated Brazil in Quebec last week, as NBA mainstays Cory Joseph, Tristan Thompson and Kelly Olynyk remained in North America after playing big roles for Roy Rana's team in Friday's victory.

While Joseph, Thompson, Olynyk and several other Canadian NBA regulars were not available against the Chileans, Canada still displayed its growing depth by outgunning the host nation. The Canadians set the tone early, shooting a red-hot 55 percent from the floor in the first half en route to a 43-30 halftime lead.

Things only got worse for Chile from there. After getting to within nine points early in the third quarter, the Chileans seemed helpless as veteran Joel Anthony led the visitors on a run that would eventually balloon to a 24-point Canadian advantage in the opening stages of the final quarter.

FIBA Americas Qualifiers: Where, when, roster, how to watch Team

Canada

It was academic from there as Canada cruised to victory. Led by 17 points from Anthony and 12 from sharp-shooting Brady Heslip, the Canadians improved to 7-1 to maintain its lead atop Group F

Source: Google News Canada | Netizen 24 Canada

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Posted by On September 18, 2018

How a truck running through the border into Canada was able to get as far as Vancouver

The aftermath of a police pursuit that began at Peach Arch border crossing and only came to an end 50 kilometres away in West Vancouver

The aftermath of a police pursuit that began at Peach Arch border crossing and only came to an end 50 kilometres away in West Vancouver Rufus Drum Shop/Instagram

On Saturday, a pickup truck sped north through a Vancouver-area border crossing and was able to penetrate more than 50 kilometres into Canada before crashing

A dramatic weekend pursuit through Vancouver has highlighted a potentially dangerous quirk of border security: Canadian border guards are not allowed to chase vehicles that blow through border crossings.

“Our officers want to do the job; they are very frustrated by not being allowed to chase people running through the border,” said Jean-Pierre Fortin, president of the Customs and Immigration Union.

On Saturday morning, a blue pickup truck sped north through a Vancouver-area border crossing and was able to penetrate more than 50 kilometres into Canada before crashing in Vancouver’s west end. The vehicle, driven by an as-yet unidentified man in his 20s, clipped a Mazda sedan before colliding with the front of Rufus Drum Shop on West 10th Street.

“High speed chase wound up in our front window ,” wrote the shop in a Saturday Instagram post, noting that it occurred “about an hour before we opened.” The 32-year-old driver of the Mazda received minor injuries.

The incident began at the Peace Arch point of entry, Canada’s third-busiest border crossing. Before 8 a.m., the pickup was seen speeding through a checkpoint.

Canadian Border Service Agency officials wear service firearms and are equipped with cruisers capable of high-speed pursuit. Nevertheless, as per CBSA protocol, in these instances, their agents are only authorized to radio ahead to police with a description of the vehicle.

“You run inside, you pick up the phone or the radio and you try to reach a police force,” said Fortin, adding: “We could have easily picked up the truck.”

Surrey RCMP, who patrol the area immediately surrounding Peace Arch, have experience in dealing with border-runners from the American side. In 2016, a co-ordinated Surrey RCMP pursuit helped rein in an erratic Volkswagen that had plowed through Peace Arch checkpoints.

Nevertheless, the pickup was able to evade the Mounties. After receiving a call from CBSA at 7:45 a.m, Surrey RCMP put out patrols for the truck. When the patrols turned up nothing, Vancouver Police were informed at 8:20 a.m. to be on alert for the vehicle.

A 2009 photo of the Peace Arch border crossing. Les Bazso/The Province

The pickup was able to speed through the jurisdictions for the Delta Police Department and Richmond RCMP until Vancouver Police identified the vehicle a few blocks south of Vancouver General Hospital around 8:30 a.m.

After the driver did not pull over in response to Vancouver Police lights and sirens, officers pursued him five kilometres west until its collision in Kitsilano.

“Efficient communication between agencies led to the swift arrest of this man who made unauthorized entry into Canada,” read a Vancouver Police statement.

Still, the suspect drove the equivalent of someone blowing through the border at Champlain, N.Y., and not being stopped until they were well into Greater Montreal. If a truck barreled through the crossing at Niagara Falls, 50 kilometres would get them as far as Grimsby, Ont.

Although the Vancouver truck crash is the most dramatic recent example of a border “blow-through,” similar incidents are relatively common at Canada’s 117 land border crossings.

OPP officer Gilles Campeau, left, RCMP officers Rob Gaudet, and CBSA agent Antonetta Biscotti stand next to their respective patrol cars in this 2017 photo. Only two of these agencies are authorized to chase down border-runners. Alan S. Hale/Cornwall Standard-Freeholder/Postmedia Network

“There are regular occurrences of drivers accelerating away from primary inspection,” reads a 2017 Canadian Border Services Agency briefing document obtained by the National Post through an access-to-information request.

According to Fortin, the epicentre has been the point of entry near Cornwall, Ont. Vehicles are known to bypass the customs station up to several times a day and, unlike in Vancouver, they’re not always caught.

“It is frustrating and unbelievable that we can actually see vehicles running into Canada and (there’s) nothing we can do to stop them,” reads a 2017 email from Cornwall CBSA staff to Fortin.

Fortin has no quarrel with the ability of other police agencies to chase down border-runners, but he said CBSA simply has more resources to do so. “Thi s is our core business,” said Fortin.

U.S. border guards, unlike their Canadian equivalents, are fully authorized to give chase to border-runners.

If a Vancouverite were to speed south into Washington State without stopping, U.S. border patrol would have the responsibility to pursue and intercept the vehicle, according to a spokesman with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

• Twitter: TristinHopper | Email: thopper@nationalpost.com

Source: Google News Canada | Netizen 24 Canada

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Posted by On September 18, 2018

As legalization looms, Canada's pot companies about to be tested

As legalization looms, Canada's pot companies about to be testedPot companies have spent years â€" and raised billions â€" on the promise of legalized marijuana. Now reality looms, where some will likely soar and some will likely fail. The CEO of Aphria believes scale and automation will set his company apart.

After years of preparation, some real tests and potential failures await this new industry

One of Canada's largest cannabis producers, Aphria will have a 3 million square foot footprint by the spring, producing more than 20,000 kilograms of cannabis a month. (Nicholas Pham/Radio-Canada)

For years now, Canada's cannabis companies have grown in size, soared in value and existed in a sort of ethereal middle ground waiting for that distant future when po t was legal. Now as legalization looms, one of the country's biggest licensed producers is bracing for life on the other side of that legal divide â€" where promise and reality will finally meet.

"There will be failures. There will be shortcomings. There will be short shipments," said Vic Neufeld, CEO of Aphria, one of the largest and highest-valued cannabis companies in the world.

Founded in 2014, Aphria has expanded and grown at breakneck speeds, making investors rich in the process.

And now, like every other cannabis producer in Canada, it's about to face its biggest test when recreational marijuana becomes legal on Oct. 17, launching what's expected to be a major industry. According to recent data from Statistics Canada, even without legalization, Canadians spend about $5.7 billion on marijuana annually.

And as we move to a legal market, the entire industry is abound with unknowns. Will there be enough supply? Will licensed producers make good on their promises? Will the retail market be as big as expected? Perhaps bigger?

After all the hype and buildup, there will be a "window of time to perform," Neufeld says, with producers looking to capture as much of the market as possible.

In the face of all the unknowns, cannabis producers are doing what they can to build in some extra cushion. For Aphria, that cushion is size.

Mechanizing marijuana

The company's sprawling facilities in Leamington, Ont., are rapidly expanding. Once a modest potted-plant greenhouse, Aphria now has hundreds of thousands of square feet of growing space up and running. Next spring, they'll add a giant 750,000-square-foot, fully automated facility.

"That's 3 million square feet of footprint," said Neufeld, his voice tinged with pride. "That will be capable, on an annualized basis, in excess of 255,000 kilos of harvest."

That's about 20,000 kilograms of marijuana a month.

Aphria CEO Vic Neufeld acknowledges that the cannabis industry may face 'shortcomings' when marijuana is legalized on Oct. 17. (Lisa Xing/CBC)

The new facility will draw heavily on robotics and automation, which Neufeld says will cut down on costs.

His greenhouses currently require between 14 and 16 workers per acre, while the new greenhouse will need between two and four workers per acre. Last quarter, it cost Aphria about 94 cents to produce a gram. Once the new facility comes online, Neufeld hopes that will fall to 75 cents.

"Machines don't go on vacation," he said. "They don't get sick, they don't have employee benefits, you can sweat 'em 24 hours a day."

Looking to the next phase

But scale and size alone likely won't be enough to thrive as Canada ushers in legalization.

The cannabis industry has been awash in partnerships over the past few months: First it was pot companies combining forces; now industrial giants are swooping in and making their claim on the sector.

And companies are already looking to the next phase of the industry: edibles and other THC-infused products and drinks. (Though the federal government has said the sale of specialty products, like edibles, won't be legal until at least 2019.)

Canopy Growth partnered with beverage giant Constellat ion Brands, and Aurora is reportedly exploring a partnership with Coca-Cola. Aphria was rumoured to be in the running to form a partnership with Molson Coors, though the beer company eventually signed a deal with a smaller producer, Hexo.

A look at Aphria's existing cannabis production facility in Leamington, Ont. Another greenhouse that is three times the size will come online in May. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Edible products are the future of the industry, Neufeld says, and the potential goes well beyond THC-infused beer.

"It's recovery drinks, it's energy drinks, it's utility drinks," he said. "It's juices. It's cabernet sauvignon without an alcohol, and therefore no sugar and calories."

Investors have poured billions of dollars into the sector hoping to capitalize, driving the valuation of pot stocks sky-high over the past two years.

Legalization will show which bets paid off and which companies are best able to adjust when some things inevitably go wrong â€" and that will be the real test for all of them, Neufeld says.

"Who is prepared?" he asked. "I'm going to suggest to you [that] no licensed producer is fully prepared because of the unknowns."

About the Author

Peter Armstrong

Senior Business reporter for CBC News. A former host of On the Money and World Report on CBC Radio, Peter Armstrong has been a foreign correspondent and parliamentary reporter for CBC. Twitter: @armstrongcbc

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