Most actively traded companies on the TSX, TSX Venture Exchange markets

August 17, 2012 - 5:24 PM

TORONTO - Some of the most active companies traded Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSX Venture Exchange:

Toronto Stock Exchange (12,089.89 up 57.30points):

Lake Shore Gold Corp. (TSX:LSG). Miner. Down 18 cents, or 16.22 per cent, at 93 cents on 7,988,575 shares. The company said it was increasing its previously announced bought deal offering by $15 million to $90 million. The money raised will be used to repay the company's US$50 million, three-year corporate revolving facility and for general corporate purposes.

Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC). Insurer. Down 21 cents, or 1.82 per cent, at $11.34 on 5,288,961 shares.

Viterra Inc. (TSX:VT). Grain handler. Unchanged at $16.15 on 4,147,005 shares.

Extorre Gold Mines Ltd. (TSX:XG). Miner. Down a penny, or 0.24 per cent, at $4.20 on 3,576,582 shares. Shareholders of the junior miner approved the company's merger with Yamana Gold Inc. (TSX:YRI) last Wednesday. The $400-million cash-and-stock deal was announced in June.

Mercator Minerals Ltd. (TSX:ML). Miner. Up half a cent, or 1.05 per cent, at 48 cents on 3,329,323 shares. The Vancouver-based miner posted Monday second-quarter profits of $22.1 million or nine cents per share, down from $24 million or 12 cents per share in the same period last year. Revenues were down 15 per cent to $61.3 million.

St. Augustine Gold and Copper Ltd. (TSX:SAU). Miner. Up half a cent, or 3.70 per cent, at 14 cents on 3,091,250 shares. The metals and mining sector was one of the major advancers, up 0.78 per cent to 865.62 points.

TSX Venture Exchange (1,233.42 up 12.17 points):

BSM Technologies Inc. (TSXV:GPS). Mobile technology. Up 1.5 cents, or 25 per cent, at 7.5 cents on 11,987,076 shares.

Petroamerica Oil Corp. (TSXV:PTA). Oil and gas. Up four cents, or 24.24 per cent, at 20.5 cents on 8,180,266 shares.

Companies reporting major news:

Andean American Gold Corp. (TSXV:AAG). Miner.Up half a cent, or 3.85 per cent, at 13.5 cents on 6,500 shares. The Toronto-based miner booked a loss of US$13.6-million or nine cents per share in the second quarter, mainly as a result of the writeoff of US$19.2 million on exploration properties. That is considerably higher than year-earlier loss of US$7,568 or nil per share.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
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  • Police: US woman accused of killing 6 infants, storing them in garage, gave birth at home

    SALT LAKE CITY - A woman accused of concealing seven pregnancies before strangling or suffocating her newborns gave birth each time in her home, authorities said Wednesday.

    Investigators have determined that Megan Huntsman, 39, did not go to a hospital to have the babies, Police Capt. Mike Roberts said. He didn't say if anybody helped her give birth.

    After her estranged husband discovered one of the infant corpses in the garage this past weekend, Huntsman acknowledged to police that she killed six of the babies, put them in plastic bags and then packed them inside boxes in the garage of her home south of Salt Lake City over a decade from 1996 to 2006. She told police one of the babies was stillborn.

    Huntsman was arrested Sunday on six counts of murder. She is being held on $6 million bail — $1 million for each baby — and is due in court Monday for an arraignment.

    Investigators have an initial theory on Huntsman's motive but aren't discussing it publicly, Roberts said.

    He did say that Huntsman also hid her pregnancies with her two oldest daughters, now in their early 20s, from extended family until she was at the hospital. Neighbours have said they never knew she was pregnant, though they now remember weight fluctuations and toggling between baggy and tight clothes.

    "So, she apparently knows how to do it," Roberts said.

    Her husband, Darren West, told police in his initial interview that he knew nothing about the pregnancies, Roberts said. He has since obtained an attorney and investigators haven't spoken with him again, Roberts said. They are trying to determine his knowledge or involvement.

    If Huntsman's timeline is accurate, that would mean West was living with Huntsman during the time of the births. He went to federal prison in 2006 after pleading guilty to possessing chemicals intended to be used in manufacturing methamphetamine. West was released from a federal prison in California in January and transferred to a halfway house in Salt Lake City.

    Through a family spokesman, West has declined comment. The West family has said in a statement released Sunday that they are in a "state of shock and confusion" and that they're mourning "this tragic loss of life."

    Utah investigators are examining DNA from the babies to determine who the parents are, studying the bones to find out how long ago the babies died and have questioned family members and neighbours in pursuit of clues about how she did it. They are trying to determine why she did it and who else, if anybody, knew about it or was involved.

    They have not ruled out making more arrests.

    On Tuesday, they served a new search warrant at the house of a family member, Roberts said, but that turned up nothing useful.

    He said investigators are poring over evidence to find out if Huntsman gave birth and killed any other babies, but they don't believe that to be the case, he said.


    Associated Press news researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York contributed to this report.

  • Accused Dairy Queen stabber had history of domestic violence allegations

    PENTICTON — A Princeton man accused of stabbing his wife and daughter outside a Princeton Dairy Queen in February was under court order to stay away from his wife after threatening to kill her.

    James Buhler, born in 1961, is charged with the attempted murder of his wife and aggravated assault of his wife and their daughter. Police allege he stabbed them—then tried to kill himself—in the parking lot outside a Princeton Dairy Queen Feb. 26.

    In January, 2014, he was charged for threatening to cause death or bodily harm to his wife between Sept. 1, 2013 and Dec. 7, 2013. He was released on a promise that he would have no contact with her. He now faces another charge for allegedly breaching that promise.

    All three were taken to hospital after the incident.

    Buhler is currently in custody at Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre. A Penticton Provincial Court judge is awaiting results of a psychiatric assessment. Buhler’s next court date is scheduled for April 30 at 11 a.m. in provincial court.

    To contact the reporter for this story, email Meaghan Archer at or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

  • Mother bear and cubs shot in Summerland

    SUMMERLAND – A mother black bear and her two cubs were shot and killed by conservation officers in a residential neighbourhood Monday afternoon.

    The response came after the animals broke into the covered bed of a pickup truck in a suburban area of Summerland.

    According to Barb Leslie of Conservation B.C., neighbours and tourists saw the animals eating trash in the area but had no dangerous encounters.

    “They were extremely habituated to people and garbage,” Leslie says. “The cubs were in poor shape for this time of year and the sow was extremely large. She had been basically living on garbage throughout the winter.”

    Leslie says that she and other officers had found several “day beds” in the area, where the bears had been bringing back garbage to eat later. She suspects the bears had been sleeping in a culvert and because of their reliance on humans for their survival, were not good candidates for relocation.

    Leslie says that before a decision to euthanize is made, several factors are considered.

    “We look at the history to see what kind of trouble they’ve been getting into, we also look at the general health of the animals,” she says. “In this case, one of our officers had the opportunity to observe the cubs earlier in the day and noticed that they were hurting with almost every step and they just weren’t in good shape compared to other healthy bears that we see.”

    Leslie says that a full grown sow would normally weigh around 150 lbs in the spring. She estimates this bear was closer to 250 lbs.

    “She was an extremely big bear. That’s a typical weight you would see with a male bear at the end of the fall after they’ve been eating out of the orchards and getting ready to hibernate. All the evidence is that they did not have a healthy diet.”

    “It’s unfortunate but based on the options that we had, and how these bears had lost their fear of people, the decision was made to put them down. It’s never an easy decision, though.”

    The most important thing people should take away from this unfortunate case, says Leslie, is for residents to keep temptations like garbage out of their yards.

    “We have bears coming out of hibernation at this time and they’re very hungry,” she says. “They’ll be opportunists so until the grass greens up on the hillsides, everybody need to make sure their garbage is locked up until the morning of pickup.”

    She also recommends bird feeders be brought indoors at night, barbecues be cleaned and that pet food not be left outside.

    “We need to make sure there are no easy meals for them in our backyards,” she says.

    To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

  • Annual meteor shower lights the sky this week

    THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - Next week do yourself a favour and spend an early morning under the falling stars.

    The annual Lyrid meteor shower, during which you could see dozens of 'shooting stars', runs from about April 16-25 this year.

    While there is a chance of seeing the meteors on the days leading up to and after the peak experts say the best time to watch the April meteor shower, known for leaving trails that resemble shooting stars, is the morning of April 22. On average 10-20 meteors per hour can be expected during the peak but uncommon surges can result in as many as 100 per hour.

    The few hours before dawn are the best time to watch for the meteors in the eastern sky. Moonless nights are considered optimal when watch meteor showers and the waning quarter moon during this year's peak could interfere slightly with visibility. Most of the Lyrid meteors however should be bright enough to be seen during moonlight hours. 

    A new meteor shower from the comet LINEAR is also being predicted for next month. The comet was discovered just 10 years ago and NASA meteor experts predict it will pass near the sun again in early May, which could result in a ‘sandblasting’ of debris that could result in a great display.

    To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

  • Text of Harper tribute to former finances minister Jim Flaherty

    TORONTO - Here is a text of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's tribute at the funeral of former finance minister Jim Flaherty, as provided by the Prime Minister's Office:

    Gov. Gen. Johnston, Lt. Gov. Onley, colleagues from the Parliament of Canada, distinguished representatives of the diplomatic corps and of provincial and municipal government, acquaintances and admirers of The Honourable Jim Flaherty from across the country, dear friends.

    As I said last week, what a sad time this is in the life of our country.

    Only a few weeks ago, we had the occasion to issue political tributes to an extraordinary colleague upon the announcement of his intention to retire from public life, with the full expectation of another life ahead of him.

    Little did we know that we would be here today, with that future torn from him, and for us to deliver more profound reflections.

    This has been a traumatic event for many of us, but, of course, none more so than Jim's family.

    Quinn, Galen, John, and especially Christine, we have lost a partner in politics, but you have lost a partner in life.

    The turnout these past couple of days may be a small consolation, but it is the tip of the iceberg in a deep ocean of admiration and affection for Jim, and of much goodwill, kind thoughts and many prayers for you.

    Please, take that to heart and God bless you.

    For, I say, we have all lost a remarkable figure.

    There are so many ways I could describe The Honourable Jim Flaherty.

    He was a man who highly principled and ruthlessly pragmatic, combative but engaging, smart and educated, while never assuming that he knew it all.

    He could be hard-headed, yet also soft-hearted.

    He could display a quick and biting temper, but, far more often, a deep and gentle sense of humour.

    He particularly enjoyed — and delivered — many jokes about his own shortness.

    He observed that he never got in the way of his own power points, but, short as he was, upon the world stage he strode like a giant.

    I do not say these things to imply that Jim was a contradictory person.

    He was not in any way.

    As a human being he was the complete package.

    And, I am sure, these last few days, he has been genuinely enjoying all the tributes and some of them he even believes.

    But, in all seriousness, it is a fact that Jim, as fiercely partisan as he was, was also genuinely liked and respected by his opponents, liked by his enemies.

    That's something in this business, something I envy — I can't even get my friends to like me.

    There has been much talk about Jim's record and legacy, especially the softer side of that record.

    Jim was not much for handouts.

    But, as a true conservative, he believed in helping people who could not help themselves, or who had suffered misfortune.

    And he especially believed in a hand up for those who needed, but only lacked, an opportunity, which is why he had a particular passion for, among others, the disabled.

    I believe no single politician in the life of this country has done more for the disabled and their families than Jim Flaherty.

    I could point to numerous initiatives, but Jim was most proud of his role in building the Durham Abilities Centre, dismissed by some at the time as a pork-barrel project, but now recognized as a tremendous regional institution and monument.

    However, when all is said and done, Jim's most important contribution to our country, without doubt, came by virtue of his long service as minister of finance, especially by virtue of being minister of finance during and after the great global recession of 2008-2009.

    I ask you to indulge me for a few moments to talk about that role, because we are talking about Jim making history, and I had the ultimate, front-row seat.

    It began back in the fall of 2005.

    Mutual friends told me that Jim Flaherty wanted to come to see me to talk about his political future.

    I had met Jim many times, but knew him really only through the strong, positive, testimony of others.

    We had lunch in my office.

    Jim told me he wanted a change and was interested in federal politics, but was a bit sheepish about the fact he had not supported my leadership campaign.

    I told him that meant nothing now, because I believed there would be a federal election soon and that, contrary to most, I thought it more likely than not that we would win.

    I also thought we badly needed someone with his abilities and experience.

    Of course, I had Finance in mind from the beginning, but Jim was actually, somewhat surprised, somewhat reticent about the portfolio at first.

    Though, it's safe to say, it wasn't long before he decided he would never let go of it.

    The relationship between a prime minister and his finance minister is always a special one.

    But this, I can tell you, was more special than most.

    Despite our very different educational backgrounds and life experiences, Jim and I were philosophically in sync on just about everything.

    But, on the specifics of the many and complex priorities before us, we often had, at least initially, different views.

    Now, we WASPs sometimes define an Irishman as someone, "who may not know where he stands, but is always ready to fight for it."

    Well, no one could ever accuse Jim of not having an opinion, and he certainly was always prepared to fight for it.

    As we talked through budget planning meetings, our divergences always narrowed and usually vanished.

    When they didn't, occasionally I imposed a final decision.

    Occasionally, I decided he was probably right.

    And occasionally, I decided he was wrong but let him have his way, just because I got so tired of arguing with him.

    By November 2008, Jim and I had both concluded, not easily and certainly not what would have been expected, that the calamity befalling the global economic and financial system meant, among others things, that we had to run a deficit.

    That is, not merely allow a modest deficit, but deliberately engineer as large a deficit as could be reasonably run, as a response to a collapsing marketplace.

    So this, Jim did.

    Canada announced one of the world's larger stimulus packages and he engineered the money out the door far more rapidly than most.

    This people remember well.

    What they remember less well is that that was not all there was to it.

    Jim knew that, in the past, even modest, short-term deficit spending had resulted in severe, long-term fiscal problems.

    So, even as he pushed out stimulus spending, he made changes in longer-term expenditure policies that would reduce their growth path.

    And then, there was what Jim did not do.

    He did not use the crisis to build new bureaucracies, to create permanent new programs, to recklessly enhance entitlements or to reverse any tax cut that had been legislated.

    He took other actions in housing and banking to ensure even greater long-term stability in our financial system.

    And he put constraints on any excessive experimentations in monetary policy.

    The result is this.

    While, at one time, Canada was no better than middle of the pack, today in an uncertain world, Canada will have a balanced budget years ahead of others, with low debt and low taxes, and is recognized to be the best managed major developed economy.

    That, my friends, is Jim Flaherty's legacy for this country.

    It was something to see, up close.

    A couple of years back, in Jim's presence, a colleague tried to put me on the spot by saying, "Prime minister, I think Jim Flaherty is the best finance minister in the world; do you think Jim Flaherty is the best finance minister in the world?"

    Always being reluctant to shell out too much praise, but not wanting to disappoint Jim, I thought about it and found a line that met both our approvals.

    I said, "Minister, I don't know for sure in absolute terms if Jim is the best finance minister in the world, but he is without a doubt the best finance minister per inch in the world."

    But, friends, there is a back story to all of this.

    As early as 2010, Jim said to me: "Prime Minister, I want to step down as finance minister and I don't want to run again. I've been in public life for 15 years now. I want to go into the private sector, so that I can make some money and put more aside for my family. But," he added, "I won't do it unless I think we're out of the woods and the job of getting back into balance is done."

    And every year after that, without any prompting from me, the call would come and Jim would say, "Prime minister, I'm still worried about the global economy and we're not yet in balance. I want to do one more budget."

    And so he did year after year, work away on the next phase of the Economic Action Plan, even as, in the past couple of years, it became more and more difficult for him, and sometimes hard to watch, as everyone of you could plainly see.

    Yet, let me tell you, when it mattered Jim was always up to it.

    He always came to our budget meetings prepared, ready to play the game, always willing to mix it up in the corners.

    And in the process, year after year, he deliberately set his own plans aside and put off his goals for his family.


    Because, at heart, he wasn't in this, as is the stereotype, for money or for power.

    Jim was driven by conviction, of loyalty to the cause and of duty to the country.

    He believed he had taken on a responsibility for all of our families, not just his own and he was prepared to make sacrifices ultimately, although he did not know it, to sacrifice himself.

    This year, looking at the state of the markets and the numbers in the budget, I knew that, when Jim's call came, it would be different.

    And so, a few weeks ago in my office, I accepted his resignation and I told Jim that the meeting back in 2005 had been one of the best decisions of my political career, one of the most important for this government, and one of the most meaningful ever for our country.

    That he had done a great job, accomplished what he set out to do, and that I understood and appreciated the sacrifice that it had entailed.

    And I told Jim that he had truly been over these eight years, in my judgement, the best finance minister in the world, if not indeed, the best in our history.

    I also wished him well in his next career and told him not to be a stranger.

    Friends, I admit to you that I do not grieve for Jim.

    I know that for Jim, the Lord has prepared a place where he can be free from the afflictions of recent times and in joy.

    No, my friends, when a good one leaves, grief is for those who are left behind.

    So, one more word for those, specifically for John and Galen and Quinn, "the boys," as your father always called you.

    Let me just say this.

    I lost my own father almost exactly to the day, 11 years ago.

    From that period, I remember almost nothing of what I said or what was said to me, so powerful were the waves of emotion.

    But once that passed, and perspective took hold, I came to appreciate my father's place in my life, probably even more fully and deeply than if he were still here.

    And it is all good.

    And it will be for you.

    You are not "the boys" any longer.

    You are young men.

    Hold on to your mother and to your father's lessons, and know that there are many here and beyond who are there for you.

    And, I say once again, from Laureen and my family and from all my colleagues, God bless you, the family, and farewell to our friend, Jim.

    On behalf of a grateful country, we thank you.


    TORONTO - Canada's political elite gather today to pay their final respects to Jim Flaherty, the former finance minister whose sudden death last week spurred an outpouring of grief that has stretched across the country and across party lines.

    A state funeral is being held at Toronto's downtown St. James Cathedral for Flaherty, 64, who died of a heart attack in his Ottawa condo despite frantic efforts by a cabinet colleague to resuscitate him.

    Flaherty's death, which came less than a month after his retirement, sent shockwaves through the national capital, where flags have been flying at half-mast and the Peace Tower has been bathed in green light, a tribute to his Irish heritage.

    Hundreds of dignitaries and citizens lined up to pay their respects Tuesday at the Abilities Centre in Whitby, Ont., which caters to the disabled and able-bodied alike. Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrived late in the day for a private viewing.

    Labour Minister Kellie Leitch, a Flaherty confidante who rushed to his condo in an attempt to revive her friend and had dinner with him on the eve of his death, also paid her respects. An emotional Leitch blew a kiss to his casket.

    Harper will speak at the funeral in front of a crowd that will include NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and several federal cabinet ministers.

    Gov. Gen. David Johnston and Mark Carney, the former Bank of Canada governor who now heads the Bank of England, will also be on hand at the funeral, which is taking place under tight security just blocks from Toronto's famed financial district, a favourite Flaherty stomping ground.

    Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, whose friendship with Flaherty caused the diminutive finance minister some uncomfortable moments in the media spotlight last year, is also expected to attend. Ford and his brother, Doug, also paid their respects in Whitby on Tuesday.

    Mourners filed into a low-lit room in the city east of Toronto, where Flaherty's Maple Leaf-draped casket lay between two Mounties in ceremonial dress. Flaherty's widow — Ontario MP Christine Elliott — and the couple's triplet sons stood on one side as Irish tunes played softly from speakers.

    Flaherty's state funeral is the first such honour since 2011, when former NDP leader Jack Layton was laid to rest. State funerals are customarily only given to current or former prime ministers, governors general, sitting cabinet ministers or members of the Royal Family.


    Jim Flaherty: Pictures and quotes - The Huffington Post

    Dignitaries and the public pay their respects: Pictures and quotes from funeral - The National Post

    Jim Flaherty - official website

  • AC/DC retiring? Rumours swirl about legendary heavy metal group

    For those about to retire, we salute you — or not.

    A whirlwind of trans-Pacific rumours are reporting that legendary heavy metal heroes AC/DC are ready to hang up their guitars due to a catastrophic illness.

    On Monday, an anonymous email was sent to a radio station in Perth, Australia, claiming the classic rock icons were eyeing retirement after a four-decade career.

    The writer — who signed off as Thunderstruck — claimed one of the band members may be terminally ill.

    “I have extremely good contacts in Europe that are very close to AC/DC,” the email to 6PR said. “I have it on very good authority that one of the band members is quite ill and has returned to Australia with his family.”

    On Tuesday, Aussie entertainment commentator Peter Ford made a dire prediction.

    “We may not hear them perform or record ever again,” he said, adding that tragedy had struck the group.

    The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that it is guitarist and co-founder Malcolm Young who is unable to continue playing for the band because of an illness. The respected paper says the illness may be terminal.

    According to The Herald, the band has a pact stating no member will ever be replaced if he is forced to quit. Instead, AC/DC would call it a career. The band’s second singer — Bon Scott — died tragically following a drunken escapade in 1980.

    But sources close to the band have denied the troubling stories — although there has been no official statement.

    And The Australian newspaper is reporting that AC/DC has booked six weeks of studio time in Vancouver starting May 1. If Young is indeed terminally ill, it wasn’t apparent in February when singer Brian Johnson confirmed to a Florida radio station that the group would head back into the studio.

    Johnson sparked earlier retirement rumours in 2011.

    “A journalist asked me once, ‘What do you think about retirement, Brian, seeing as you’re getting older?’ I said something honest and quite naive; I said, ‘Well, I’ll retire when I can’t do it anymore and as soon as I feel I can’t do it anymore, then I’ll retire.’ Next thing I now there’s a headline, ‘Brian Johnson’s gonna retire.’ And it came out all wrong so you got to be careful what you say.”

    AC/DC has sold more than 200 million albums during their storied career.

  • Teens who suffer concussion more likely to attempt suicide, be bullied: study

    TORONTO - Teenagers who have suffered a traumatic brain injury such as a concussion have a significantly higher risk of attempting suicide, being bullied and seeking help for mental health issues from crisis help lines, a study has found.

    The study by researchers at St. Michael's Hospital also found adolescents who had a traumatic brain injury (TBI) are more likely to become bullies themselves, to be prescribed medication for anxiety and/or depression, to use alcohol or cannabis, and to engage in antisocial behaviours.

    Lead researcher Dr. Gabriela Ilie, a neuropsychologist at the Toronto hospital, said those behaviours include damaging property, breaking and entering, taking a car without permission, running away from home, setting a fire, getting into a fight at school, or carrying or being threatened by a weapon.

    "I think what we're seeing here is a cry for help," said Ilie. "What we're seeing here is a wake-up call. (It's a) cry for help on their behalf and a wake-up call for us — for parents, for educators, for medical professionals.

    "What this says to us is when your child gets a concussion or if you see signs of mental health issues — suicide attempts, substance use — and you take your child to a medical professional, you want to be vigilant as a parent, you want to be vigilant as a medical professional to screen for potential mental health and behaviour harms in adolescent patients who have had a TBI."

    Ilie said doctors need to ask young patients seeking help for mental health problems whether they have had a blow to the head or were previously diagnosed with a concussion. The corollary is also necessary: asking teens who have had a concussion if they are experiencing depression, anxiety or other mental health issues, she said.

    "And take that into account in your diagnosis, take that into account in long-term vigilance and screening and monitoring of those kids."

    Ilie believes the research, published Tuesday in the journal PLOS ONE, represents the first population-based evidence demonstrating the extent of the link between TBI and poor mental health outcomes among adolescents.

    The study was conducted using data from the 2011 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey developed by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto.

    The survey contains responses from almost 9,000 students from Grades 7 to 12 in publicly funded schools across Ontario. When the survey was initiated, it asked students to anonymously report their alcohol and drug use, but it has since been expanded to look at adolescent health and well-being overall. Questions about traumatic brain injury were added for the first time in 2011.

    “We know from a previous study based on (survey) data that as many as 20 per cent of adolescents in Ontario said they have experienced a traumatic brain injury in their lifetime,” said Dr. Robert Mann, a senior scientist at CAMH who directs the survey.

    “The relationship between TBI and mental health issues is concerning and calls for greater focus on prevention and further research on this issue."

    Ilie said students were asked if they had ever suffered a TBI such as a concussion that left them unconscious for at least five minutes or required them to be hospitalized for at least one night.

    Almost one in five said they had experienced at least one traumatic brain injury in their lifetime; the risk of such an injury was almost 50 per cent higher among males than females.

    The study found students who reported a previous TBI were more than three times more likely than those who had not had a head injury to attempt suicide and roughly twice as likely to be bullied at school or on the Internet, to bully others, to seek help from a crisis help line or to be prescribed a medication for depression, anxiety or both.

    The odds of being threatened with a weapon at school were three times as high for students with a previous head trauma, compared to peers who had not had a TBI, the researchers found.

    Adolescence can be a turbulent time as teens try to figure out who they are and what they want to be, said Ilie.

    Adding the effects of a concussion — which are known to slow cognition, interfere with the ability to concentrate and create emotional turmoil — can make it more challenging to learn and to navigate social relationships.

    "You don't feel all right. You go to class and you don't answer as fast," she said, adding that students may have to study longer than they did before to get the same results on tests, for instance.

    "It's a very harsh environment out there for teens. When kids see that you're not as sharp, you don't catch a joke fast, you don't respond quickly when a pun has been thrown at you, they can bully you."

    The study results suggest that parents, teachers, sports coaches and health providers need to keep on top of how teens who have had a concussion are faring mentally and emotionally over time.

    "Otherwise, we're going to let them fall through the cracks," said Ilie. "My concern with looking at this data is what net is there to catch those kids?"

  • Evidence inconclusive on pollution charges

    PENTICTON — Two men and a local construction company were acquitted of pollution charges today.

    Penticton Provincial Court Judge Meg Shaw said she wasn't satisfied with evidence against Eneas Kruger, Doug Cotter and Cotter's business, each charged with one count of introducing waste into the environment. B.C. Conservation officers took video of the work site between April 17 and 29, 2011 showing material loaded onto Kruger's property.

    Shaw said the video and photo evidence was inconclusive: It showed construction material and smoke, but it wasn't clear if the construction material was burning.

    Doug Cotter said the material being off-loaded was all wood and metal already approved for off-site removal by the Workers’ Compensation Board. He said the Ministry of Environment authorized him to sell debris to Kruger's salvage yard on Penticton Indian Band land. He said his crew spent two months sorting it to ensure the hazardous materials were separated from the rest.

    “It was all a waste of time,” said Doug Cotter. 

    Shaw said band officials have been working with Kruger to ensure he is following their rules for open burning and environmental hazards.

    To contact the reporter for this story, email Meaghan Archer at or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.