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Ontario minister says she apologized after giving ‘feedback’ to Sens owner

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An Ontario cabinet minister said Friday that she apologized to the owner of the Ottawa Senators for being “blunt” — which came after she reportedly hurled a profane tirade at Eugene Melnyk at a Rolling Stones concert.

Tourism, Culture and Sport Minister Lisa MacLeod described the encounter as her giving Melnyk “feedback” on the management of the hockey team.

“Let me set the record straight, I gave (Melnyk) some feedback at the Rolling Stones concert and I apologized to him for being so blunt,” she wrote on Twitter. “I have serious concerns about the state of our beloved Ottawa Senators! We need to get our team back on the road to winning the cup!”

The Ottawa Citizen reported that MacLeod saw Melnyk at Saturday’s concert near Barrie, Ont., yelled at him that she is his minister and swore at him.

“I am your minister and you’re a f—ing piece of s–t and you’re a f—ing loser,” MacLeod said, as recounted by Melnyk to the newspaper.

The Citizen reported that Melnyk complained to the premier’s office and that both MacLeod and Premier Doug Ford later called him. Ford’s office told The Canadian Press that it had no comment beyond MacLeod’s tweet.

The Senators said Melnyk stands “firmly” by the account of the incident he gave to the Citizen.

“He has received a call from and had a very positive conversation with the premier of Ontario, which he intends to keep private, but he is grateful for the leadership the premier showed and was impressed with how he approached this difficult situation,” the organization said in a statement.

MacLeod was recently demoted from Children, Community and Social Services after her handling of the autism program sparked outrage.

The Liberals called on Ford to fire MacLeod as minister and suspend her from caucus, noting she also had to apologize after autism therapists said she and her staff told them it would be “four long years” for their organization if they didn’t provide a positive quote to help promote her new program.

“For months now, parents, professionals and concerned citizens have warned the minister’s conduct is inappropriate and unbecoming of a cabinet minister,” Michael Coteau wrote on behalf of the Liberal caucus.

Coteau noted that Ford suspended Randy Hillier from caucus for saying “yada, yada yada” to parents of children with autism — Hillier maintains the remarks were directed at the NDP.

“Surely he can see that Minister MacLeod’s pattern of behaviour is much worse than an offside comment,” Coteau said. 

Hillier was later kicked out of caucus for not being a “team player,” though he says it was because he clashed with Ford’s now former chief of staff Dean French.

New Democrat Marit Stiles noted Friday that MacLeod has previously said she wouldn’t tolerate bullying when dealing with criticism over the autism program.

“I don’t know why she thinks that it’s OK for her to bully and use that kind of language with a private citizen,” Stiles said.

Ford will have to make a decision about what behaviour he will tolerate from his ministers, she said.

“At the end of the day, this is Mr. Ford’s government,” Stiles said. “He is the premier of this province. He needs to make a call on this and I would say he needs to set the bar a whole lot higher than this.”

Melnyk’s hockey team has endured a series of on- and off-ice controversies since coming within a goal of making the Stanley Cup final in 2017.

Melnyk himself has been the target of criticism among some Ottawa fans. Months after he criticized fan support and said the team could move elsewhere if support doesn’t improve, four billboards went up across the city with the hashtag #MelnykOut.

Earlier this year, a plan to develop land near downtown Ottawa featuring a new arena for the Senators fell apart after Melnyk and business partners failed to solve a dispute.

On the ice, the Senators finished last in the NHL standings this past season after going into rebuilding mode following the trade of captain Erik Karlsson on the first day of training camp.

Allison Jones, The Canadian Press



Local Sports

RDC Athletes of the Week.. plus a busy weekend upcoming for RDC Athletics

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RDC Athletics Update From RDC Athletics

Red Deer College Athletics is proud to announce the Bedford Food Company Athletes of the Week:

1. Shayla Sklaruk– Queens Cross Country Running Hometown – Stony Plain, AB
Bachelor of Education Elementary (2nd year)

Shayla Sklaruk (26:50.53) had a strong race at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Cross Country Running National Championships in Grande Prairie on November 9. In snowy and cold weather conditions, the Bachelor of Education Elementary student led the RDC Queens to a fourth place team finish, narrowly missing bronze. Individually, Sklaruk completed the 6 km race in 11th spot in a deep and talented field of the top collegiate female runners across Canada.

2. Devin Saunders – Kings Cross Country Running Hometown – Red Deer, AB
Business Administration General Management (2nd year)

Devin Saunders (29:33.32) ran incredibly well at the CCAA Cross Country Running National Championships this past Saturday. In challenging weather conditions, the Business Administration General Management student rose to the occasion. Saunders led the Kings to bronze, which was the first national medal for the RDC men. The second-year competitor from Red Deer placed tenth over 8 km and earned a spot on the CCAA Men’s Cross Country Running All-Canadian team.

This Week in Red Deer College Athletics is sponsored by the RDC Students’ Association

This week the RDC Basketball teams will play two games at home. The Hockey Queens will face the Olds College Broncos in a home-and-home series. The Red Deer College Kings Hockey team will challenge the Portage College Voyageurs twice in Lac La Biche. Both RDC Volleyball squads will compete against the Medicine Hat College Rattlers in two road matches.

Here is a summary of what is happening this week:

Queens Basketball | Friday, Nov. 15 | 6:00 p.m. | Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre

The Red Deer College Queens (3-1) will host the Ambrose University Lions (0-5). The Queens have some momentum after defeating the 2019 CCAA National Champions, the Olds College Broncos, this past Friday. Over four games, the RDC Queens have averaged 69 points, 50.5 rebounds and ten steals. Stauffer, Alberta’s Amy Szymanek has had a great start to the season and shares sixth spot in league scoring with 16.3 points per game.

Queens Basketball | Saturday, Nov. 16 | 6:00 p.m. | Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre

The Queens will entertain the Lethbridge College Kodiaks (3-2).

Kings Basketball | Friday, Nov.15 | 8:00 p.m. | Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre

The third place Red Deer College Kings (3-1) will compete against the Ambrose University Lions (2-3). Red Deer’s Spencer Klassen sits second in Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Men’s Basketball with an average of 25 points per game.

Kings Basketball | Saturday, Nov.16 | 8:00 p.m. | Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre

The RDC Kings will host the undefeated Lethbridge College Kodiaks (5-0). The Kodiaks and Trojans are tied for top spot in the south.

Queens Hockey | Thursday, Nov. 14 | 7:00 p.m. | Olds College

The second place RDC Queens (6-1-1-0) will play the Broncos (1-6-1-0) in Olds. Goaltender Karlee Fetch has been very good in net and sports the second best goals against average (2.16) and save percentage (0.916) in ACAC Women’s Hockey.

Queens Hockey | Saturday, Nov. 16 | 7:00 p.m. | Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre

The Queens will entertain the Broncos in a rematch.

Kings Hockey | Friday, Nov. 15 | 7:00 p.m. | Portage College

The second place Hockey Kings (6-1-1-0) will face-off against the Portage College Voyageurs (0-7-1-0). Chase Thudium leads the Kings with 12 points. The Kings continue to boast the top power play in the league, with a 95.7 per cent success rate.

Kings Hockey | Saturday, Nov. 16 | 1:00 p.m. | Portage College

In an afternoon game, the RDC Kings will play the Voyageurs.

Queens Volleyball | Friday, Nov. 15 | 6:00 p.m. | Medicine Hat College

The third place Queens (4-2) will compete against the Rattlers (4-4) in Medicine Hat. The RDC Queens are on a four match winning streak. Red Deer’s Emma Holmes has a hitting percentage of 0.505, which leads ACAC Women’s Volleyball.

Queens Volleyball | Saturday, Nov. 16 | 1:00 p.m. | Medicine Hat College

The Red Deer College Queens will face the Medicine Hat College Rattlers in an afternoon tilt.

Kings Volleyball | Friday, Nov. 15 | 8:00 p.m. | Medicine Hat College

The RDC Kings (5-1) will play the Rattlers (1-7) on the road. Across the league, setter Thomas Wass has averaged the most assists per set (8.95).

Kings Volleyball | Saturday, Nov. 16 | 3:00 p.m. | Medicine Hat College

The Rattlers will host the Kings.

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Local Sports

RDC Runners are National Bronze Medalists!

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From RDC Athletics

RDC Athletics Recap

This past week the Kings Soccer team finished sixth at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Men’s Soccer National Championship in Ontario. The RDC Cross Country Running Kings earned bronze and the Queens placed fourth at the CCAA Cross Country National Championships in Grande Prairie.

The Hockey Queens earned three of a possible four points against the NAIT Ooks. Both RDC Volleyball teams defeated the Olds College Broncos twice. The basketball teams downed the Broncos, including an impressive Queens’ win over the defending national champions.

Here is a summary of what happened this week in RDC Athletics:

Kings Soccer | CCAA Championship | Vaso’s Field | Oshawa

Even though injuries accumulated, the Red Deer College Kings gave it their all at nationals, finishing sixth.

In the quarter-final, the Kings defeated the Holland Hurricanes 2-1 on penalty kicks. Nathan Swartz scored in regulation time. Gabriel Martins Fonseca scored the winning penalty kick.

The Durham Lords downed the RDC Kings 2-0 in the semi-final. In the bronze semi-final, Champlain St-Lambert Cavaliers picked up a 3-0 decision over the Kings. Then in the placement match, the Humber Hawks won 5-0 over RDC.

RDC Cross Country | Sat., Nov. 9 | CCAA Championships | Grande Prairie

In challenging weather, the RDC Kings earned CCAA bronze and the Queens finished fourth, narrowly missing the podium.  Red Deer’s Devin Saunders (29:33.32) placed tenth nationally over 8 km, earning a spot on the CCAA All-Canadian team.

“It was a great day and huge victory for the men,” says RDC Cross Country Head Coach Kari Elliot. “To have three of the men finish in the top 20 is incredible and it’s the first time the Kings have podiumed at nationals.

Shayla Sklaruk (26:50.53) paced the Queens over 6 km, crossing the finish line in 11th spot.

 

Queens Volleyball | Thursday, Nov. 7 | Olds College

The Queens defeated the Broncos in three sets (25-16, 25-13 and 25-18). Emma Holmes and Tess Pearman had nine kills each.

Queens Volleyball | Friday, Nov. 8 | Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre

The Red Deer College Queens (4-2) swept the Broncos at home (25-17, 25-15 and 25-18). Emma Holmes had eight kills. Jade Van Dyke, Erin Neufeldt and Alexandria Greenshields recorded seven each. Prior to the opening serve, representatives from the Royal Canadian Legion were present, promoting and leading Remembrance.

 

Kings Volleyball | Thursday, Nov. 7 | Olds College

The RDC Kings defeated the Olds College Broncos in three sets (25-21, 25-19 and 25-16). Ben Holmes led the Kings with ten kills.

Kings Volleyball | Friday, Nov. 8 | Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre

In a rematch, the Kings (5-1) swept the Broncos (25-14, 25-19 and 25-17). Setter Thomas Wass finished with 22 assists.

 

Queens Hockey | Friday, Nov. 8 | NAIT

The NAIT Ooks edged the RDC Queens 4-3 in a shootout. Carissa Hogan scored a pair of goals and Jenessa Fournier added a single. The Queens picked up a point in the standings.

Queens Hockey | Saturday, Nov. 9 | Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre

The Queens (6-2-0-0) earned a 4-2 victory over the Ooks. Avery Lajeunnesse, Brooklyn Rowley, Camryn Wallan and Jenessa Fournier scored for RDC. Karlee Fetch made 19 saves for the win.

 

Queens Basketball | Friday, Nov. 8 | Olds College

The Red Deer College Queens (3-1) played hard and defeated the 2019 CCAA National Champions, the Olds College Broncos, 69-65. Stockholm’s Sophie Melin led the Queens with 17 points.

Kings Basketball | Friday, Nov. 8 | Olds College

The Red Deer College Kings (3-1) dropped the Olds College Broncos 104-73. Former Bronco, Jouvon Edison, scored 21 points.

 

For more information on RDC Athletics, the student-athletes and teams, please visit: rdcathletics.ca RDC Athletics photos are available on Flickr.

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thu21nov6:00 pm11:00 pmFestival of Trees - Preview Dinner6:00 pm - 11:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

fri22nov8:00 pm11:00 pmFestival of Wines8:00 pm - 11:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

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