7 habits to help you get fit this summer

Bathing suit season is upon us – which means it’s time to begin taking your fitness routine seriously.

General Manager at Fitness Connection, Mike Mak, stresses the importance of taking care of yourself and being realistic with what we can achieve over the summer months. He often has clients who dedicate all of their time to getting in the best summer shape, then neglect their fitness regime and end up failing to achieve the fitness level they want.

Naturopathic doctor Carol Morley adds it’s important to feed and nurture yourself properly when trying to achieve a toned body.

“If people are embarking on anything new, I usually suggest they try and do some good baseline stuff and [take] a quick look at dietary [nutrition].”

She said many of her clients complain of low energy levels, so she suggests people have their iron and protein levels checked before embarking on an exercise regime.

READ MORE: Breaking down the top fitness trends for 2016

Mak and Morley offer these tips for those looking to follow a fit and healthy lifestyle this summer.

1. Set realistic goals

“I see people often have high expectations, and [they’re] often unrealistic,” Mak said. Make sure to set goals that are both short- and long-term. It’s great if you want to lose 20 pounds in two months, but is that realistic according to your schedule?

2. Get into a routine

In addition to scheduling your workout, you must plan your meals and sleep. “You want to make sure you are trying to eat at the same time every day, and also sleep at more or less the same time, making sure you get that seven to eight hours to make sure that your body is fully restored,” Mak said.

Morley agrees and warns the summer is a popular time of year to fall off track. “On the weekends, people are out and about a little more, so make sure [you] try to stick to a routine as much as possible.”

3. Prep your meals

People rush out of a workout hungry and grab a bite of whatever is convenient — and that may not necessarily be healthy. In order to avoid temptation, prepare your meals ahead of time. Mak dedicates Sundays for his meal preparation. “I cook all my meat, I make a big pot of quinoa or pasta, and I sort everything,” he said. “Then I put it into containers and have it in the fridge and it’s ready to go.”

4. Have a balanced diet

It can be impossible to eat healthy all of the time, so rather than drive yourself crazy about it, get in the habit of having a balanced diet. It’s OK to indulge once in a while at a barbecue or have a beer on a patio, but it’s important to limit yourself.

“You want to cheat, but you don’t want to de-rail yourself,” said Mak, adding it’s a good idea to give yourself a break once a week. “You want to allow yourself to eat what you want to keep your sanity.”

READ MORE: Fitbit report reveals Canadians’ exercise habits and top workouts

5. Enjoy what you do

Make sure you enjoy the workouts you do. Trends like yoga, Zumba and crossfit might work for a little while, but if you don’t like what you’re doing, the routine’s not going to last very long. Mak compares working out to your job. “If you don’t like going to work every morning, you won’t stay there very long!”

6. Stay hydrated

If you often take your workouts outside, Morley said it’s important to drink water. Your body requires more water while it’s in the sun, so keep a bottle of water close by. You want to help your muscles work and avoid getting any life-threatening illnesses such as heat stroke.

7. Sun safety

Soaking in the sun while exercising outdoors is always fun, but you must protect yourself. The Canadian Cancer Care society has released new sun safety guidelines that say Canadians must be extra careful in the sun from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. In addition, SPF 30 is now the minimum protection you should be using.

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16X9 cancelled, Liza Fromer contract not renewed amid changes at Global News

The award-winning investigative news program 16X9 has not been renewed for another season, Global News announced Tuesday.

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The program has won and been nominated for dozens of prestigious awards since its debut in 2008. That long list includes dozens of RTDNA awards, a Bronze World Medal at the 2015 New York Festivals awards, and the prestigious Beyond Borders award among countless others.

One of those nominations was for 16X9 groundbreaking investigation into the RCMP’s readiness to deal with active shooter investigations.  16X9’s explosive investigation Under Fire explored the Moncton RCMP shootings and whether officers were ready for the call.

The RCMP pleaded not guilty to four Labour Code charges stemming from the June 2014 shooting rampage last month.  The charges followed an investigation into whether the Mounties had the proper equipment and training to deal with active shooter situations.

16X9 also explored the world of dementia and how every hour approximately 900 people are diagnosed with the disease.

“Over its eight seasons, 16X9, broke ground editorially and visually – winning countless awards and international recognition,” Troy Reeb, the senior vice president of News, Radio and Station Operations for Corus Entertainment said.

Reeb described the cancellation of the show as “difficult.”

“The program, and its team, has made lasting contributions to the field of investigative journalism, and we are committed to continuing to invest in this area by establishing a new, network investigations unit to work with local teams across all platforms, including radio,” Reeb said.

The new multi-platform unit will focus on original, enterprise investigations. It will be closely integrated with the network’s flagship newscast, Global National with Dawna Friesen, as well as local newscasts, Globalnews长沙夜网 and Corus radio stations.

Carolyn Jarvis, the current host of 16X9, will join the new team as its Chief Investigative Correspondent. Jarvis is currently on maternity leave.

Liza Fromer’s The Morning Show contract won’t be renewed

Global News also announced that The Morning Show host Liza Fromer’s contract would not be renewed after it expires at the end of June.  Fromer was a key figure on The Morning Show since its inception in 2011 and her role, along with a number of others across the Global News network, has been impacted as a result of the changing and highly competitive media landscape in Canada.

Global News was a part of , which was acquired by Corus Entertainment in January in a $2.65 billion deal. The combined company oversees 45 specialty television channels, 15 local television stations, 39 radio stations, and a host of digital properties including Globalnews长沙夜网.

Saskatoon police launch #GetMyBikeBack campaign

Bike thefts continue to be a problem in Saskatoon and police are hoping a new campaign, #GetMyBikeBack, will help investigators return stolen bicycles to their owners.

So far in 2016, 290 bikes have been reported stolen and often end up for sale on the internet.

READ MORE: Busy weekend for Saskatoon police with almost 1,000 calls

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    In a recent case, a $2,500 bike was stolen from a detached garage. The owner did not have the serial number. Luckily, police were able to find out the serial number through other ways and recovered the bike, in this case a pawn shop.

    Police say their investigations are difficult without identifying serial numbers.

    READ MORE: Prince Albert Fire Department lifts minivan off trapped senior

    The idea behind #GetMyBikeBack is to have bike owners take a picture of the serial number for future reference.

    “These days, everyone has their phone either on them or within reach so we’re encouraging people to snap a quick photo of the bike’s serial number,” said Insp. Patrick Nogier.

    “It’s an easy and convenient way to keep a record so that in the event your bike is stolen, the serial number is easily accessible to provide to police.”

    Police are also working with local businesses to encourage people buying a bike to take a picture of the serial number before leaving the store with their purchase.

    Any bikes that are recovered by police but go unclaimed are put up for auction. In 2015, over 550 bicycles went to auction.

Westmount parents hold ‘swim-in’ to protest pool schedule

WESTMOUNT – Some parents are making waves over pool restrictions at the Westmount recreation centre.

A peaceful protest was staged Tuesday evening in opposition to adults-only swimming hours at the facility.

“Unfortunately, a petition, visits to city council, numerous emails and so on have not worked, so we’re trying something different this time,” said Angela Lehrer, who organized the swim-in.

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“We’re trying to get as many families as possible to come, hang out and show support for what we call ‘share the pool.’”

The current schedule at the pool has adult-swim three times a day, five days a week.

The other two days, adults have two sessions alone.

Lehrer, a mother of three, said one of the issues she has is with the timing.

The evening adult-only swim at 6:30 p.m. falls at a time when many young families want to take their children to the pool.

“Demographics of Westmount are changing, and most people are dual-income families and they want to be here after work with their kids,” she said.

Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., when it was time for adult-only swim, kids stayed in the pool.

Lehrer explained it’s part of her “share the pool” concept.

She believes all adult-only times can be shared with children, with some restrictions.

But not everyone is on board with that idea.

“There’s less and less time for adults; it’s all becoming about families and kids and there’s a lot of people like myself that don’t have children,” said Westmount resident, Johanna Stosik.

“So I think that it would be really nice to have no kids on deck every now and again – the way it’s always been because you could just kind of relax.”

The other fire heroes: meet the Alberta Wildfire management team

As the Fort McMurray wildfire raged, firefighters could be seen working tirelessly to battle the blaze.

At the same time, another group of people was also working tirelessly, behind the scenes, managing the provincial response.

Their jobs differ greatly from the widely-celebrated firefighters and air tanker pilots who were on the front lines, but the stresses faced by people like fire weather meteorologists and logistical coordinators were profound during those first weeks of May.

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    Every day of the wildfire season, two weather briefings take place to inform employees of the risks posed by Mother Nature. During the first week of May, Paul Kruger led the team responsible for making the forecast.

    “Any time you don’t get any rain in the last two weeks of April, you’re starting to think there could be some sort of problem somewhere in the province,” Kruger said.

    He and his colleagues knew there was the potential for a big fire incident, but without an actual ignition it’s impossible to tell where. Once the fire started south of the Fort McMurray, they made their best recommendations of how the weather would impact its growth.

    The conditions were explosive, unlike anything he’d seen.

    “Maybe that might be the one thing that I’ve never seen, just how dry the whole layer of atmosphere was,” Kruger explained.

    READ MORE: Fort McMurray wildfire officials receive heroes welcome at Alberta legislature 

    As Fort McMurray residents fled the inferno, the importance of Kruger’s forecasts grew. It was the kind of stress he’d experienced just a couple of other times in his 20 years with Alberta Wildfire.

    “Yeah, you’re taking it home and then I am trying to think of other ways to get my mind off of it because my decisions have been made so I am hoping that I did the best job that I possibly could with the information that I had,” Kruger said.

    On the other side of the building Kruger works in, a situation room is full of cubicles, monitors and professionals who use his forecast to make critical decisions.

    “It’s coordinating basically all of the resourcing and actions controlled by this room,” Cory Davis explained. “So aircraft and manpower and logistics and priority setting for the province.”

    As the provincial Wildfire Operations Coordinator, it is Davis’ job to manage over 200 aircraft and thousands of front line firefighters. He admits that other than being on the front line of the firefight itself, it’s the most demanding job he’s ever held.

    “Because you are moving a lot of resources and trying to fill the needs of the fire and the needs of areas as quickly and efficiently as possible,” Davis explained. “And just having that stress of trying to get what they need when they need it and not always being able to succeed with it.”

    While Fort McMurray was burning, there were several other wildfires burning out of control. Imagine having to decide what areas should receive help first.

    “We’re always faced with stressful scenarios, whether it’s 100 fires out in the middle of nowhere in the bush to one fire threatening a major community,” Davis explained.

    READ MORE: Fort McMurray wildfire timeline of events 

    He doesn’t credit himself for his department’s success, but rather the team that supported him.

    “It always tends to be a stressful environment and we work so closely together and (such) long hours that we become a pretty close and tight-knit family.”

    Wildfire manager Chad Morrison shared all of these stresses in addition to being the spokesperson for Alberta Wildfire during the disaster.

    “You know that the fire is just outside the town and evacuations have been called,” Morrison recalled. “Those are big moments for everybody… you feel just during that whole experience how much it’s impacting people.”

    “There’s a lot of work and training that goes into getting prepared for these types of things and even with that training, it never truly prepares you for these types of historic events.”

    Morrison’s updates had the power to mobilize families and corporations into action.

    “Trying to get information out to the public is a huge, key thing,” Morrison explained.

    Yet when asked if he thinks he should also be called a hero, Morrison deflected the praise onto all of his colleagues.

    “Doing these types of events are humbling experiences as a whole, fire tends to be that way,” he said.

    “What I think is so rewarding is just seeing how everyone pulls together… seeing Albertans as a whole pull together and do what they can to bring Fort McMurray back.”

Labour board could set precedent for Saskatchewan employers and unions

A Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board ruling on if supervisors should be excluded from a Saskatoon union could set a precedent for employers moving forward, according to a University of Saskatchewan (U of S) law professor.

In mid-June, the Saskatoon Public Library submitted to the board that 28 of its supervisory positions be excluded from its employee’s bargaining unit. Similar action has taken place with the City of Moose Jaw.

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    “I think these first two or three applications are going to be key in determining what’s going to happen in Saskatchewan labour relations,” said Keir Vallance, a U of S assistant law professor who formally practiced labour law.

    “If the board comes down … against exclusion, that may put a brake on other employers bringing these types of applications, if the board allows them you may see even more applications than expected of this sort.”

    READ MORE: Saskatoon library supervisors being removed from union

    The action stems from the Saskatchewan Employment Act, which states that supervisors should not be in a bargaining unit. Vallance said the measure is unique to Saskatchewan.

    The legislation came into effect in April and employers can now act to remove supervisors or keep their bargaining units status quo.

    “For supervisors to be in the same bargaining unit as the people they supervise, sometimes that can create a conflict,” said Carol Cooley, the Saskatoon Public Library CEO.

    “If there’s a performance management issue that comes up, that can create a tension for a supervisor who is in the same bargaining unit as the people they’re trying to manage.”

    READ MORE: New year brings changes to Sask. essential services legislation

    The union that represents Saskatoon Public Library workers is CUPE Local 2669. Rhonda Heisler advises the group and said the action is unnecessary.

    “Supervisors are able to draw the distinction between their job descriptions and their union affiliation,” said Heisler, who is a servicing representative with CUPE.

    Heisler said there are mechanisms in place to assist a supervisor who “does feel conflict about supervising another union member.”

    “Historically this has always worked for us.”

Istanbul airport attack: Air Canada halts service to Ataturk Airport

A terrorist attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport which has left dozens of people dead has forced Air Canada to halt operations to and from the Turkish city.

“As a result of events in Istanbul, today’s flight, due to leave Toronto this evening, has been cancelled and tomorrow’s return flight from Istanbul, on the same aircraft, is also cancelled,” Peter Fitzpatrick, Air Canada spokesperson, told Global News.

Fitzpatrick said Air Canada has been in touch with all of its employees in Istanbul and determined they are safe. The airline runs daily service to Istanbul.

WATCH: More from Istanbul

Security camera appears to show moment of explosion inside Istanbul Airport

00:28

Security camera appears to show moment of explosion inside Istanbul Airport

01:13

Dozens dead and dozens more injured after two explosions at Istanbul’s airport

01:25

Travellers at Istanbul airport take cover from explosions, gunfire

00:34

Aftermath video of twin bomb explosions at Istanbul’s airport



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“As more information becomes available, we will assess when normal operations can resume,” Fitzpatrick said.

So far there have been no reports of any Canadians killed or injured in the attack, Global Affairs said in a statement to Global News.

READ MORE: Istanbul airport attack: Dozens dead, possible links to ISIS

“The Emergency Watch and Response Centre and our offices in Ankara and Istanbul are closely monitoring the situation and are working to determine if Canadian citizens have been affected,” the statement said.

“To date, we have no reports of any Canadian citizens being affected by the incidents.”

Saskatoon police tactical support unit call-outs climb as high risk incidents rise

Every time they respond, they are putting their lives on the line for the safety of the public and other officers.

The need for the Saskatoon Police Service tactical support unit (TSU) is on the rise as more high risk and often violent incidents involving guns continues to climb.

READ MORE: Patrolling from the sky: An inside look at Saskatoon’s Air Support Unit

In a warehouse on 33rd Street East, we are invited to watch them in action as they play out a domestic violence scenario.

Simply put, they are the team that hopes for the best and plans for the worst.

According to Sgt. Ken Kane with the TSU, that involves training so when members are called to a risk or weapons complaint, everything is just second nature.

“We want to make sure when that time comes and we have to go into a situation like this that we are fully prepared to make sure we can hopefully bring it to a peaceful resolution,” he said.

“That’s why we train twice a month to make sure those skill sets are there when we need them.”

The TSU is a part-time team, made up of members whose primary duties lie somewhere else within the force.

“Everyone except for three are assigned to patrol division so we have a total of 22 members on the team, two of whom are canine handlers who are trained to a tactical standard as well.”

On any given shift, there will be two or three members for when crisis calls come in and inevitably – they do.

WATCH BELOW: Police release dramatic rescue video and tools used to diffuse standoff

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    In his 15 years with the team, Kane says calls have risen from 15 to 20 a year to more than 100 last year alone.

    “With the growth of the city, the drug trade and the good economy, I think it’s just led to more violence in the city.”

    READ MORE: Busy weekend for Saskatoon police with almost 1,000 calls

    The average tactical team call-out costs costs $8,000 and many times if the armoured rescue vehicle isn’t on-site, it’s right around the corner in case its needed.

    To date, patrol officers have responded to 34 high risk or violent situations this year and each was resolved successfully with the assistance of the TSU.

    “We will isolate, contain and negotiate for as long as it takes,” Kane said.

    “I think it comes down to training, patience and experience.”

    Negotiators often do the “heavy lifting” by talking the suspect down for as long as it takes, at times up to 11 hours.

    “Any time we walk away from one of these situations where the suspect is in custody, there’s no use of force and no one in the public or any police members are hurt, that’s a win for us.”

Alberta government unveils insurance policies aimed specifically at ride-sharing companies

Transportation Minister Brian Mason unveiled the Alberta government’s new insurance product for ride-sharing companies and drivers Tuesday.

READ MORE: Ontario insurance regulator approves coverage for Uber drivers in Canadian ‘first’

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    Alberta’s Superintendent of Insurance developed a new policy called the Alberta Standard Automobile Form – Transportation Network S.P.F. No. 9 (SPF9). The insurance product can be sold by licensed insurance companies as of July 1.

    Ridesharing giant Uber, which is currently not allowed to operate in Alberta because its insurance plan was not approved by the province, said every driver operating on the Uber platform in Alberta will automatically be covered under the new policy offered by Intact Insurance and purchased by Uber.

    READ MORE: Uber-less start for Edmonton’s legal ride-sharing era

    “This new ride-sharing insurance structure is a key step to bring Uber back to Edmonton and support our efforts to serve Albertans across the province,” Ian Black, general manager for Uber Canada, said. “We look forward to our ongoing work with regulators and partners to bring ridesharing to an always growing number of cities across the country.”

    Uber said, however, that it did not have any specific information on a possible relaunch of its services in Alberta cities.

    According to the province, the new policy will insure all Transportation Network Company (TNC) drivers starting from when they log into their TNC’s mobile app to provide rides for hire.

    The new insurance offering will cover statutory accident benefits for three defined “periods”:
    -Period 1 is defined as beginning when a driver activates their business’ app with no passengers and provides $1 million in contingent third-party liability with no collision or comprehensive coverage.
    -Periods 2 and 3 are when a fare is accepted and when the driver has picked up a passenger. During this time, the policy provides $2 million in third-party liability coverage with optional collision or comprehensive coverage.

    In addition to the primary new insurance product, ride-share drivers can buy additional insurance coverage beyond what companies can buy.

    Drivers who work less than 20 hours a week can get an endorsement form which allows for additional coverage while a different endorsement form allows drivers to buy additional coverage for when they’ve already logged into the app but not yet confirmed a fare.

    “This coverage structure also provides an opportunity for the insurance industry to develop personal lines coverage options for the period during which drivers are available to accept a ride but have yet to do so,” Karim Hirji, senior vice president with International & Ventures for Intact Financial Corporation, explained.

    The insurance development comes a little over a month after the NDP government passed the Transportation Safety Amendment Act, allowing the province to regulate TNCs and their drivers. Among the new rules declared May 16 were that all TNC drivers must have a Class 1, 2 or 4 driver’s licence, outlining minimum standards for an “acceptable police check,” and clearly defining what a TNC business or driver is.

    READ MORE:Alberta introduces new regulations for ride-sharing companies like Uber

    “Our primary goal is to ensure all of Alberta’s road users – drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists – are safe,” Mason said in a news release Tuesday.”This regulation provides clear rules and guidelines for Transportation Network Companies who want to operate in our province.”

    The province said its new rules will work side-by-side with bylaws developed by local municipalities and not in place of them.

    Currently, TappCar is the only commercial dispatcher in Edmonton with a licence and approved insurance. It began operating in March.

Group of feedlot operators suing Lethbridge County over animal tax

Rick Paskal and Cor Van Raay have been operating cattle businesses in the County of Lethbridge for 80 years, combined.

They are among a group of southern Alberta feedlot operators fed up with the county’s proposed animal tax.

READ MORE: Lethbridge County considers agriculture tax for infrastructure funds 

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    Lethbridge County considers agriculture tax for infrastructure funds

    “Collectively, in the County of Lethbridge, there is 500,000 head of cattle on feed here, so the implications of this tax are far reaching,” said Rick Paskal of Van raay Paskal farms.

    “We all understand that we have a responsibility to pay tax – we are not saying we don’t want to pay tax – what our issue is, as we examine the operations of the county, we felt that there is no reason why the county should charge more tax,” he added. “It’s just indicative of the way the county manages its affairs.”

    Paskal took Global News to a gravel road in the county. He feels the road is a perfect example of the county not spending money in the right places. The road was redone seven years ago and Paskal thought it was in great condition, but the county is currently redoing it again.

    “Why would you spend this money needlessly?”

    He also said the group is worried narrower roads and wide farm equipment could be a deadly combination, making safety a major concern within the county.

    County Reeve Lorne Hickey said upgrading roads like this one to a “Haul Road Status” is what the county was told residents wanted during round table discussions held over the last several months, making it easier for producers to get their cattle to market.

    “It’s not necessarily putting a tax on them to do that, but the roads that we have are in poor conditions at times and they need to be upgraded so that they can be used at different times of the year,” Hickey said.

    He added the tax is needed to cover a $250-million infrastructure deficit.

    The group of business owners feels the tax could eventually force business right out of the area.

    “It won’t happen overnight, but eventually. Over a couple of years, it will totally drive our industry away,” Van Raay said.

    Paskal said the group has now taken its concerns to court.

    “We initiated that lawsuit, not because of the tax  – if we have to pay tax, we will pay the tax – but to make the county responsible for their spending.”

    Hickey says the county consulted with its legal team before bringing the tax forward, and is confident it will stand up in court.

Police confirm deadly W-18 discovered in Vancouver

Police are warning residents about W-18, a powerful opioid 100 times more powerful than fentanyl, discovered in Vancouver on April 8.

According to police, two men were arrested by police after a break-and-enter in the city’s West End and after searching the pair, one of them was found with drugs, including what was thought to be a counterfeit OxyContin pill.

The drugs were given to Health Canada for analysis and on June 24, police learned that one of the pills contained W-18.

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“We continue to see an alarming increase in overdose deaths throughout the province,” said Vancouver Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Randy Fincham in a statement.

“Many of those deaths have been the result of people knowingly, or unknowingly, taking synthetic painkillers such as fentanyl. With the recent appearance of W-18 in the Lower Mainland, the lives of more habitual or recreation drug users are at even greater risk.”

In March, police forces across B.C. were on alert after W-18 was found in Alberta. Calgary Police discovered it in three of 100 fentanyl pills they had seized.

More than 450 people died of drug overdoses in B.C. in 2015. Fentanyl was responsible for just under one-third of those deaths.

Where does W-18 come from?

The drug comes from a “W-series” of opioid compounds first discovered at the University of Alberta in 1982, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control. There are 32 compounds, W-1 to W-32, with W-18 being the most toxic.

W-18 is not currently regulated under the Controlled Drug and Substances Act and can be manufactured and bought freely, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

~ with files from Amy Judd and Andrew Russell

FCC report projects farm equipment sales will grow

Farm Credit Canada’s (FCC) latest report shows optimism in the future of agriculture. The demand for new farm equipment in 2016 started off slow but promising income projections suggest the market will turn the corner and slowly improve over the next two years.

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    The agriculture economics report released Tuesday forecasts a seven per cent recovery in total equipment sales for 2017, buoyed by projections of stronger Canadian farm cash receipts in coming years.

    “The reason we are projecting a turn-around in new farm equipment sales is that cash receipts for various agriculture sectors are looking stronger,” said J.P. Gervais, FCC’s chief agricultural economist.

    “Nothing is written in stone, but the key indicators are looking pretty good.”

    READ MORE: 2016 Saskatchewan crop development well ahead of normal

    Gervais said equipment is among the most valuable assets for many farmers and is a great indicator for the state of the farm economy.

    “While producers, manufacturers and dealers must exercise caution, strong demand for agricultural commodities, low interest rates and a stable Canadian dollar are all factors that should trigger improvement in the new farm equipment market,” Gervais said.

    According to FCC, total equipment sales fell by 13.8 per cent in 2015 but they were in line with the 10-year average.

    “Tighter margins in recent years have led several farmers to choose leasing over buying their agricultural machinery,” Gervais said.

    “We’ve also seen new groups of producers in the market buying and sharing farm equipment.”

    Additionally, FCC’s report projects crop receipts to grow 5.8 per cent this year, with a further 3.8 per cent increase in 2017.

Trump takes aim at NAFTA as leaders gather in Canada

WASHINGTON – Donald Trump has delivered his most explicit threat to smash the North American Free Trade Agreement just as the continent’s three leaders gather to discuss building new ties.

If elected president, the presumptive Republican nominee said Tuesday he would inform Mexico and Canada of his desire to immediately renegotiate a better deal for the U.S.

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READ MORE: Ahead of 3 Amigos Summit, only 1 in 4 Canadians believe NAFTA is beneficial: poll

He said their refusal would prompt him to invoke the agreement’s Article 2205, which allows a party to withdraw on six months’ notice.

“They’re so used to having their own way,” Trump said of America’s neighbours.

”Not with Trump. They won’t have their own way … NAFTA was the worst trade deal in the history — it’s, like, the history — of this country.”

The warning came in an anti-globalization speech that solidified Trump’s position as the most protectionist Republican presidential candidate in generations.

He listed a series of complaints about American trade policy as he read a pre-written address titled, “Declaring American Economic Independence.”

It occurred on the eve of Wednesday’s Three Amigos summit in Ottawa where the NAFTA leaders plan to announce closer co-operation in several areas, against the headwinds of economic nationalism now blowing on different continents.

For Trump, that growing resistance to global integration is cause to celebrate.

WATCH: PM Trudeau, Mexican president make agreements on beef, visas 

He saluted Britain’s vote to leave the European Union. He even used a turn of phrase similar to one from anti-EU leader Nigel Farage, who taunted European colleagues Tuesday for mocking his Brexit vision: “You’re not laughing now, are you?”

In a similar sneer at the forces of global integration, Trump said he’d spent years complaining about trade with China: “Nobody listened. But they’re listening now.”

Trump’s two main complaints were about events shaped by the presidency of Bill Clinton, the spouse of his likely general-election opponent: NAFTA in 1993, and the lengthy negotiations that led to China entering the World Trade Organization in 2001.

He proposed seven remedies.

One is to withdraw from the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership plan. Another is to label China a currency manipulator and impose punitive tariffs on its products.

READ MORE: Trump, Clinton’s tough talk on trade more bark than bite: report

Redoing or rescinding NAFTA is another.

In his speech, Trump never mentioned Canada specifically. Even after the speech, his campaign issued talking points complaining about the trade practices of Mexico — but not of Canada.

Yet one trade lawyer in Toronto said the policies he espouses have clear implications for the northern neighbour; three-quarters of Canadian exports go to the U.S.

”He is clearly the most protectionist presidential candidate, probably, since the 1920s,” Mark Warner said.

“Presidential powers are limited but a president with this kind of a trade agenda could easily make life difficult for trading partners by pushing presidential executive powers to the limit. The worst case for Canada is that he might push (Hillary) Clinton to be more protectionist in border states if the contest narrows.”

Nearly two dozen consecutive polls show him losing the popular vote to Clinton.

His comeback hopes appear to hinge on the anti-trade, anti-elite, anti-foreign sentiment of the likes that propelled Farage’s forces to a stunning win.

Trump has repeatedly stated his desire to redraw the electoral map.

As a case in point, he delivered his trade speech Tuesday in Pennsylvania — a state that hasn’t voted Republican in decades. He’d need that state and other northern, former industrial powerhouses like Michigan and Ohio, if he loses states with growing Latino populations like Florida, Virginia and Colorado.

Even if he’s elected, Warner said, a protectionist president would find himself in a complex fight.

He said Trump could seek to leave NAFTA, but would need Congress to snap tariffs back into place. Such a move would almost guarantee a lawsuit over the extent of presidential power, he said.

READ MORE: Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton: which president would be better for Canada’s economy?

Warner said presidents do have the power to implement emergency actions without Congress, and can get the Department of Commerce and International Trade to ramp up trade-remedy cases.

Trump’s domestic opponents were saying far worse things about his speech.

They called it economically illiterate and hypocritical.

After all, they pointed to reports of Trump-branded clothes being made in Mexico, ties made in China, shirts made in Bangladesh, furniture made in Turkey and Germany, picture frames from India, and bar products from Slovenia.

This self-styled defender of workers has also testified in a court case about using illegal labour in the project to build the skyscraper that now houses his campaign headquarters.

Polish workers who were to be paid a few dollars an hour for demolition work in the 1980s complained about their supervisors withholding payment on the Trump Tower project.

Now the Trump of 2016 is campaigning against the wealthy international trade-championing elite.

“Globalization has made the financial elite who donate to politicians very wealthy. But it has left millions of our workers with nothing but poverty and heartache,” he said.

“The era of economic surrender will finally be over … America will be independent once more.”

His opponents might not find themselves on the firmest ground if they question his consistency. When they first ran for president, both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama endorsed a renegotiate-or-rescind approach to NAFTA.

On Tuesday, the White House was lauding the old agreement.

Obama spokesman Josh Earnest did so while warning against making simple comparisons between the situation in North America and Europe — given that continent’s far more elaborate integration featuring open borders, free movement of labour, and a multinational currency.

“Countries in North America have pursued a different strategy, and one that has worked well for us,” he said.

“It is a strategy that has enhanced the economies of all of our countries, it’s enhanced the national security of all of our countries and it certainly has made North America the most successful continent in the world.”