‘I felt it was not my right’: Edmonton mothers debate sharing pictures of their kids online

Olivia Pilip and Jenelle Gartner have a lot in common. They are both entrepreneurs and mothers to two young children. They even share an office space on 124 Street in Edmonton.

They do not, however, share the same ideas about parenting in a digital world.

Pilip’s Facebook page reads like a baby book. There are adorable photos and videos of her sons Birk and Brody for her 464 friends to see.

“Our family lives far away so I feel it’s a really great way to connect.”

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“They’re not here so my mom is constantly going on Facebook or checking things out from Ontario,” Pilip said. “She gets to feel like she’s watching our kids grow up without being here.”

Gartner, on the other hand, hasn’t shared one photo that identifies her daughters since the initial birth announcement.

“I felt it was not my right.”

“In terms of privacy, I know I’m their guardian but that’s their story,” Gartner said. “That’s their narrative to tell and as much as we can delete certain things off the internet, there’s some things that people can save or that there are traces of and I don’t think it’s fair that I post things that they don’t have a say in.”

If a parent decides to post photos, John Zabiuk, an instructor with NAIT’s Applied Information Systems Technology program, says it’s important to be aware of the data connected to them.

Watch below: Zabiuk explains why parents should be wary of what they’re posting online

Zabiuk says some social media sites strip that data off of photos but others do not. He says a parents’ best bet is to disable the GPS off of the phone camera. He also recommends reviewing security settings and usage agreements around photo sharing, and being choosy about which photos you want to share with the world.

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Officials say new SaskAlert app worked during weekend storms

Officials in Saskatchewan say a new emergency app properly picked up all tornado alerts from Environment Canada on the weekend.

There were four tornado warnings and three watches issued by the weather agency when storms whipped up winds in many places across the province.

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  • Storms pummel parts of Saskatchewan Sunday night

  • Saskatchewan’s 4th tornado of 2016 confirmed by Environment Canada

  • Multiple tornadoes touch down in Saskatchewan on Father’s Day

    READ MORE: SaskAlert app will keep people in Saskatchewan informed of emergencies

    Mieka Cleary, deputy commissioner of emergency management, says all weather warnings that appear on the SaskAlert app are sent by Environment Canada, not the province.

    Some 桑拿会所 users questioned why they didn’t get alerts about the thunderstorms that roared through or why the province wasn’t tweeting the alerts.

    Cleary says the level of any weather alert is up to Environment Canada, but people can also adjust the settings within their own app to control whether they receive only critical or all advisories.

    READ MORE: What to do when a tornado touches down in Saskatchewan

    As for tweeting, Clary says emergency management is still exploring that option.

    “Right now we want to ensure that pieces of our communication strategy are working before we move onto other ones,” Cleary said Monday.

    The SaskAlert app was launched last week. It will send a tone and notification directly to anyone who has it, even when the app is closed.

    The website, SaskAlert长沙夜网, has more specific details on things such as evacuation routes or evacuation centres, if necessary.

    READ MORE: How you can stay safe and save lives this severe weather season

    Emergency alerts may also be issued for train derailments, plow winds, spills of hazardous material, boil-water advisories, road closures or local emergency declarations.

    Alerts are only issued for emergencies that could harm people or damage property.


More than 1 million Montreal cyclists on the road: Vélo Québec report

MONTREAL – About one million Montrealers are trading their cars in for bikes, according to a new study conducted by Vélo Québec, in partnership with the city.

According to the report, one in two Montrealers currently bike around town.

Bixi, the bike sharing service, seems to be one of the reasons why the city has seen a spike in riders.

“I don’t have the space to put my bike in my place so it’s really easy, ” Bixi rider Justine Laval told Global News.

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  • Bixi puts forth five-year-plan, but what will city hall say?

  • City of Montreal to invest $15M in bike paths for the 2016-2017 season

    READ MORE: Bixi celebrates record year

    There are also more biking paths in the city.

    Since 2010, Montreal has added almost 300 kilometers of cycling paths, increasing bike-friendly streets by 40 per cent.

    The city said it also has plans to extend the cycling network to the east.

    “The plan is to get to 1,280 kilometers,” said city spokesperson Marc-Andre Gadoury.

    There are concerns, though, that the biking capital’s infrastructure and regulations don’t match the growing number of cyclist on the roads.

    READ MORE: Family of Mathilde Blais calls for new bike safety rules

    The opposition worries the city is not doing enough to make sure cyclists are safe.

    “About nine kilometres that were added out of 10 were paint on the ground, paint on the road,” said Marianne Giguère, a spokesperson on the subject of cycling for Projet Montréal.

    “It helps, of course, it shows riders are welcome on the street, but if you don’t feel safe to go on those bike lanes with your family, with your young kids, it won’t help.”

    That’s in spite of recent updates to Quebec’s Highway Safety code.

    READ MORE: New regulations aimed at making Quebec roads safer for cyclists now in effect

    The amendments include steeper fines for those who hit a cyclist with their car door.

    Changes also include keeping enough distance from cyclists if drivers want to pass them on the road.

    “How is that going to be enforced? That’s what we’re asking,” Giguère said.

    Meanwhile, the city said it thinks it is on the right track and is taking all necessary steps to create an effective environment for cyclists in the city.


Despite recent attacks, ISIS still losing social media war

It was a deadly week for those commemorating the so-called Islamic State’s (ISIS) second anniversary. In four separate attacks, first in Yemen, then Turkey, Bangladesh and Iraq, ISIS supporters and affiliated fighters succeeded in killing over 300 people – many of them women and children.

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    Growing number of ISIS-linked attacks in recent days has international community nervous

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    And while these types of attacks are not new – Brussels, Paris, San Bernardino, and perhaps even Orlando, were all either inspired or coordinated by ISIS – the frequency of recent attacks has some security analysts suggesting that losses on the ground for ISIS have caused the terror organization to change it’s online strategy – from recruiting supporters to join in the fight against Western forces in Iraq and Syria, to encouraging would-be jihadists to instead stay home and orchestrate terrorist attacks in their respective nations.

    READ MORE: Death toll climbs to 149 in ISIS-claimed double bombing in Baghdad

    “It’s this message directed to supporters in the West,” said Laith Alkhouri, director of Middle East and North Africa research at Flashpoint, an organization specializing in online counterterrorism activities.

    “That we [ISIS] are able to strike you in your heart, in your homeland, and our supporters there should understand that.”

    This shift in strategy comes at a time when ISIS is losing ground, not only on the battlefield, but in the online arena as well.

    Alberto Fernandez, a former U.S. State Department official and vice-president of the Middle East Media Research Institute, believes ISIS’s most prolific days of spreading online propaganda are in the past.

    “Their presence online is more contested,” said Fernandez, describing what he believes is the slow decline of ISIS’s online capabilities. “It used to be that the best thing they liked to crow about was military victory – the fall of cities, the taking of loot and equipment, the massacre of captured soldiers – they don’t have that anymore.”

    WATCH: Growing number of ISIS-linked attacks in recent days has international community nervous

    Despite being pushed from many mainstream social media platforms such as 桑拿会所 and Facebook, ISIS still maintains relatively robust lines of communication between itself and its online supporters, admits Fernandez.

    “ISIS has turned to other, more secure platforms such as Telegram to spread its messaging,” Fernandez said.

    Telegram and similar video-sharing applications have been used very successfully by ISIS to evade detection and make it difficult for authorities to delete and remove content.

    Unlike YouTube and other video-sharing platforms, said Fernandez, Telegram is encrypted – allowing ISIS and its supporters to safely and securely transmit content between authorized users only, similar to how Blackberry’s PIN-to-PIN messaging works.

    WATCH: ISIS claims responsibility of Dhaka attack, government says it was banned domestic group

    Still, mainstream social media losses for ISIS have been significant.

    “There has been a coordinated ‘hacktivist’ campaign, an anti-ISIS hacktivist campaign,” Alkhouri said. The objectives of which are to degrade the organization’s presence online by actively attacking pro-ISIS social media accounts, and by informing 桑拿会所 and other social platforms of users believed to be involved in the spread of extremist materials.

    As successful as 桑拿会所, YouTube and Facebook might be at riding the internet of extremist content, Western governments and intelligence agencies have fallen behind when it comes to countering ISIS’s efforts online, according to Scott Neil, a former Green Beret and counterterrorism expert.

    “You have some of the greatest military minds, military powers, national intelligence agencies from around the world,” said Neil. “And they’re being outpaced on the internet by a rogue band of loosely-formed, nefarious criminals that use barbarism to perpetuate an ideology that’s 1,400 years old.”

    Neil is not alone in this assessment. Fernandez and Alkhouri both agree that Western governments have been largely unsuccessful in countering extremist ideology online. And that any gains in pushing ISIS from the centre of the online universe have come primarily as a result of private enterprise and what Fernandez describes as “good business sense.”

    “Facebook has been very aggressive in challenging the extremists in its space,” said Fernandez. “But they’ve all improved, they’ve all done more, they’re more aggressive, they’re taking stuff down, so the trend is very positive.”


Pincourt tries making scenic road more pedestrian friendly

PINCOURT – It’s a road in the municipality of Pincourt, known for its waterfront view and now, officials there are taking steps to try and limit traffic on Duhamel Road.

Drivers have long taken advantage of the narrow road to get to and from Highway 20, but in an effort to reduce traffic there, the city has converted parts of the road into a one-way street, complete with a multipurpose path.

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The year-long pilot project, which began last Saturday, is welcome news for people like Steve Totten, who has been living on Duhamel Road for the past five years.

“We were anxiously awaiting this happening so it’s good news for us,” he said.

“We like the fact that you are mixing traffic with bikers. People walk. People like to promenade along the water and check it out.”

For Céline Loslier, the pilot project is a blessing for her pregnant daughter.

“I think it’s good for her to have a road like that to walk the baby,” she said.

Although area residents now have to go a few kilometres out of their way to reach home, Pincourt Director General Michel Perrier said he thinks it’s a sacrifice that is well worth it.

“I don’t see it as major constraint,” he said.

“A study, completed by Cima Plus – an engineering firm that specializes in transports – basically indicated to us that the longest detour that occurs to some of our citizens is about a minute-and-a-half.”

Instead of two-way traffic, the road will be restricted to one way heading north, in the direction of Highway 20.

“When we come home, we have to get used to going a kilometer out of our way but [it’s a] small little thing for such a nice change,” Totten said.

Some residents said they only hope pedestrians will be respectful of the new multipurpose path.

“I hope the people that walk their dogs will respect us and pick up their dog poop,” Loslier said.

The scenic route begins at Cardinal-Léger Boulevard and ends at Bellevue Park.

The speed limit will remain at 30/km per hour.

The city spent $50,000 for repairs and new signage for the multipurpose path.

If the project goes well, Pincourt will completely revamp the path.

“A successful program would be for us to see a constant flow of users on the infrastructure, mainly families,” Perrier said.

Pincourt could also see more one-way roads implemented in the near future.